How does “The Executioner's Song” explore the language of disease---and what does it tell us about the season ten story?

Relapse. Remission. Cure. The language of disease has been a hallmark of Supernatural season ten. It's been discussed overtly and in metaphor. It has been explored through various means and methods. In “The Executioner's Song,” we see the theme of disease play out, allowing us to see how each character's story fits together, summing up the storyline surrounding the Mark of Cain, Cain, and the Winchesters themselves. Cain tells Castiel, “Yes. And soon it will be a genocide. My children, my whole poisoned issue. Lot of them out there right now -- killers, fighters, thieves. Some more peaceful than others, but they still carry it -- the disease.” It is this disease that becomes a focal point of the episode, revealing the truth about it and the fight the Winchesters will have against it.


In the beginning of the episode, we see Cain come for the prison inmate, Tommy. He is on death row, marked for execution. Tommy killed six people---at least according to the state records. By Cain's count, it's nine. He tells Tommy, “I know you're a killer---just like me.”

This is the first example of disease being discussed in the episode. Cain, as the Father of Murder, is patient zero. He's the first human to ever take another's life, and he has been killing ever since as a demon. It was part of the deal he made with Lucifer---all to prevent his brother from becoming the demonic monster. He has killed countless, culled thousands, and committed unspeakable atrocities as the original Knight of Hell.

When we first meet him on Supernatural, however, Cain has retired. He threw the First Blade away into the deepest trench on earth, gave up murder, and decided to keep to himself as a hermit living away from the world. It allowed him to explore quieter hobbies---such as bee keeping. It allowed him to quell the murderous noise in his ears. Cain was able to step away from Hell, step away from killing, and find some form of peace.

After Crowley and Dean go to him in order to acquire the First Blade, they draw unwanted attention onto the retired Father of Murder. He is confronted with demons led by his former protege Abaddon---and they want nothing more than to disturb his peace. This peace was brought on by Cain's love for Colette, a woman that Abaddon possessed and Cain killed. She was to be his last kill---until now. In the wake of this, we can see that Cain has thrown aside his vows, that he's picked up killing, and that he's struggling against the very same thing Dean has been throughout season ten: the Mark of Cain.


When confronted by Castiel, Cain tells the angel, “What can I say? I got the taste back.” He's not the only one. The Mark thirsts for murder, too. It is pushing Cain to return to his old ways, but he's chosen to do so on his own terms. He explains, “If the Mark wants blood, I'll give it mine.” It's why he's culling entire families. They are tainted with his own sins, with his own curse, and he knows that among them there are killers like Tommy. Rather than allow them to inflict that kind of horror on others, Cain will do what he sees fit when it comes to an incurable disease: he'll cleanse the rotten parts and pray there's something left to be salvaged.

Already on the search for Cain, Sam and Dean follow him to the prison and see him on the footage. Dean knows, even with the dark shadowy image making it hard to see, that it's Cain. The Mark on his arm hums in recognition of its originator, and he knows that they're close to finding out if Cain can answer their questions. He's already succumbed totally to this disease once, and he has no wish to do so again. Cain, at this point, might be their last hope in learning a cure.

It isn't until they learn that Cain has decided to go after Tommy's son that they realize he's gone too far. Cain has totally fallen back into the disease---he's no longer salvageable. Tommy's son is only twelve years old---an innocent. He may or may not kill someone later on. He may or may not be tainted with the same disease of the killer. Rather than taking that chance, seeing if the little boy, Austin, can manage to be better than he was, Cain decides to remove him. He tells Dean, “He could go either way. I prefer to be thorough.”

While we shudder at Cain's reasoning, we can't help but see some logic in it. He has a point that the world would be better with a few less murderers. He's right that most of the killers in the population are descendants---either literally or figuratively---and one way for the world to see this fixed is to kill the killers before the cycle begets more killers. He's seeing these men and women---and children---as an epidemic of his individual disease. As patient zero, he's the most afflicted, he's the one that has suffered the most. As patient zero, he's aware of how dark and gruesome this disease will get if unchecked.

But he's not the only one.

Dean, too, is afflicted with the same disease. He, too, bears the Mark. Its hum is in his ears. Its pull is on his mind. Throughout the season, since Demon Dean was cured by the purified human blood, we've seen the Mark of Cain dictate to Dean what it wanted in subtle ways. It spoke through its unending pull on Dean, causing him to grasp at its raised flesh on his arm at various intervals. It pushed him to do things he didn't wish to do---such as shoot the shape-shifter Olivia multiple times, slaughter an entire house full of men, and lose his control when questioning Metatron. It feeds on his aggression, his struggles with his self worth, and with the darkness that he needs in order to be a good hunter. We've seen it speak to Dean in metaphor, too. It spoke through the vampire, Starr, telling him brazenly that, “all of you will become all of us” and that to resist its command to kill is to end up dead. The Mark has been biding its time, waiting to break through to Dean in order to wrestle control from him.

Now, the Mark has its greatest mouth piece ever: Cain himself.


Sam, Dean, Castiel---and Crowley---all set a trap for Cain. They know he's coming for Austin, and so they lie in wait and allow him to show up. They'll confront him head on, rather than chase after him. They know what he's after, and they know what they have to do. They'll need him to get into the barn and enter a giant Devil's Trap. It's a bothersome thing to something like Cain, but it'll hold him if for a moment. With the little boy in the center of it, they give him what he wants. He stabs the child, only to watch him turn into a poof of purple smoke. Cain seems rather unsurprised by this illusion, almost peeved that they'd think to try something so juvenile on him.

But in reality, Cain knows that this was just the ruse to get at what they really trapped him for: Dean.

Dean tells them that he's going to have to go this alone. As the person with the disease, this is no different than a patient having to go into surgery, endure a medical test, or take something like chemo on physically alone. No one can do this for Dean. If he is to face the disease that has permeated his life, he will have to do so head on and without distraction. This level of honesty with not only Castiel and Crowley---but most of all his brother Sam---conveys that Dean knows how important this moment is to both of them. This could tip the scales towards Dean relapsing into the demonic creature he was after Metatron killed him. It's a scary thought, that this confrontation---this moment he faces his disease personified---might be the last thing he does as himself.


As honest as he was in admitting that he do this alone---and that they must kill whatever comes out of that room if he should succumb---it is his sheer honesty solely with Sam that lays bare just how frightened Dean is of his disease. This may be one of Dean's most vulnerable moments, and he simply says, “I'm scared, Sam.” It's key that he voice this fear now and only to his brother. He may not have Sam's physical presence with him in that room, but he needs Sam to hear this---and he needs to say it so he can face both the disease and his fears surrounding it. It's his one chance at emerging intact on the other side.

As Dean steps into that room, Cain is waiting, caged for now. He tells Dean, “This is the part where you tell me it's not too late. I can lay down arms. Abandon my mission. We don't have to fight.” At this stage, Cain morphs into the Mark of Cain personified. He has fully fallen to the disease, and therefore he becomes its most powerful mouth piece. From the moment Dean steps into that Devil's Trap with him, to the moment he bows his head to receive the killing blow, he is voicing everything the Mark has been hinting at for months.

Dean knows that he must kill Cain. After all, Cain is killing scores of people. He's killing murderers and innocents, men and women---and if left to his own devices, children. He's embracing the blood-lust, taking back the taste for it, and fully feeding its need for human blood. There's no question in his mind that Cain needs to be stopped. Dean's the one that bears the same Mark that makes it possible to use the First Blade. He's the only one that can do this.

And do it he must.

But it's not for those reasons. It's never been for those reasons.


As Cain starts to push back, overpowering Dean, he starts to spell out the very things Dean has needed to hear. He's been playing with a partial deck, only knowing so much about what his disease wants from him. He knows it wants him to kill. He knows that it will cause him to relapse in time. He's made peace with that knowledge, choosing to go down swinging when that time should come. It's all part of his acceptance that the Mark of Cain is indeed a terminal illness.

And yet, Dean had some hope that Cain might know something he doesn't---that there was a cure.

Dean holds the Blade tight, making his move to attack. It is clear that Cain is the stronger of the two. He's borne the Mark for far longer, harnessed its dark powers---all at deep cost---and uses his demonic strength to push Dean back. Each time Dean tries to land a blow that will allow him to make the kill, Cain absorbs it and deals it back sevenfold.

Once he manages to toss Dean aside, smashing him through a window and stunning him, Cain can get what he wants most: the Blade. In the moment he picks it up again, Cain is transformed into the Father of Murder completely. He is holding the weapon that he used to slay his brother, and now he is making his move to kill Dean, the man he also infected with his curse.


Cain picks Dean up by his throat, choking him. The Mark has been wanting Dean's attention---and silence---for some time. Cain's choking of Dean accomplishes that. While Dean can rasp some words out, he's mostly silent, forced to finally hear what the Mark wants most. Cain tosses Dean aside again, telling him, “Has it ever occurred to you? Have you never mused upon the fact that you are living my life in reverse. My story began when I killed my brother, and that's where your story will inevitably end.”

Dean stares up at Cain in horror, realizing the bald truth being laid before him. The Mark of Cain has always wanted one thing: blood. Until now, that's been a general thing. It's taken any and all blood it can get. It mattered not if it were monster, human, friend or foe. The Mark would relish in all of it. But as Cain, the very mouthpiece for the Mark, continues, it lays out explicitly what it wants---and makes sure to make each potential murder land with the force of a physical blow.


The Father of Murder tells Dean, “It's called the Mark of Cain for a reason! First, first you'd kill Crowley -- there'd be some strange mixed feelings on that one, but you'd have your reason, get it done, no remorse. And then you'd kill the angel Castiel, now that one, that I suspect would hurt something awful. And then! Then would come the murder you'd never survive, the one that would finally turn you into as a much of a savage as it did me...your brother, Sam. ”

Sam. The Mark of Cain wants Dean to repeat the first murder. It wants him to do nothing more than kill his brother. It's what it's always wanted and that bald truth scares Dean more than anything. He protests, telling the Father of Murder, “No. Never.”

Cain, unable to take that answer as truth, puts the Blade at Dean's throat, and tells him, “The only thing standing between you and that destiny is this blade. You're welcome my son.”


Just as it looks as Cain will deliver the killing strike, raising the Blade high and preparing to plunge it into Dean's chest, he's stunned by Dean's quick thinking. Cain had a knife stashed at his side, a substitute for the Blade he hadn't yet reclaimed, and so it gives the elder Winchester an opportunity to stop Cain before it is too late. Dean pulls on its handle, sliding it free to slice through Cain's arm, severing his hand with the swift motion.

This action is the first symbolic one that Dean will take. Dean has always done everything he can to save his brother. After his father told him that he'd have to choose between saving and killing Sam, Dean always chose saving. He refused to even indulge the other concept. Any opportunity that arose to save Sam---be it from the demon blood, dying in his arms, or being Soulless---Dean took it and grasped it tight. For Dean, he would much rather cut his own hand off than kill Sam---and here he's cut Cain's hand off to symbolize it. It only happens after Cain tells him he will kill Sam---it only happens when the Mark spells out explicitly that it wants his brother's blood.

Stunned, Cain falls to his knees, clutching the stump of his arm. He's been defeated, unable to hold the Blade in the hand once attached to the Mark. All that's left is to face Dean and his own impending execution.


Dean, still resisting this moment, begs Cain to not make him do this. He can't go through with this. He knows that killing Cain will only infect him further. It will make the disease growing inside him all the worse. And so, pleading with not only Cain but the Mark itself, Dean begs him, “Tell me I don't have to do this---tell me that you'll stop---tell me that you can stop.”

Cain, as the Mark personified, puts the nail in the coffin of Dean's hope when he tells him, “I will never stop.” Cain may be telling Dean that he, as a demon, will never stop culling the people he's put on his list, but in reality, this is the Mark speaking directly to Dean. It is telling him, no matter what he does, no matter what resistance he puts up, no matter how hard he fights, it will never stop. It will always find a way to make Dean into a demonic monster and a slave to its blood lust.


And yet, as we see Dean raise the Blade high over his head and slam it down into Cain's back---to a sound of thunder---it is as if Dean is also killing the Mark symbolically. He cut off Cain's hand to symbolize his own when faced with killing Sam, and now he's killing the personification of the very disease polluting him. While this may create more turmoil in the short term for the elder Winchester, there is no doubt that this moment is a moment of triumph, too. He has been able to best the Mark by besting Cain. It is a glimmer of hope that he may be able to win.

While Cain may be the personification of the Mark itself, he's also Dean's advocate in this fight. The Mark may spell out precisely what it wants from Dean, it may give him the details its hidden until now, but there's also another side to what Cain says here. He's not just ruffling Dean's feathers to get a rise. He's not simply telling him his ultimate nightmare to punish him. He's giving him a gift, too. He's telling Dean what he is up against and why it is important that he fight.

Cain may tell Dean that he's going to kill everyone he knows. He may tell him that there is only “remission and relapse,” but underneath it all, Cain is begging Dean to do what he couldn't. Cain wasn't able to save himself. He had been infected for far too long, had given into it far too often, and become so twisted by its demands that he could no longer resist. He was overcome with it the moment he made his first kill post Colette---and he was overwhelmed by the Mark's hum when he grasped the Blade for the first time in over a century. It's all in his statement, “It's been too long. That old feeling, makes me wonder how I ever had the strength to resist.”


But it's more than watching Cain completely fall to the disease that matters here. It's what he's not saying that has weight. He's spelling out all the bad that will come, all the evil Dean will inevitably do, and all the pain that is sure to come from this terminal disease. It will only cause Dean to suffer---which is why he wants to offer Dean an out through death. In reality, however, he's also giving Dean a blueprint to fight back.

Cain knows where he went wrong. He knows the mistakes he made in succumbing to the Mark---and as he taunts Dean for holding back, there's almost a sense of awe coming from him. Cain is amazed that Dean can hold back while holding the Blade, while engaged in combat---mortal at that---and he is almost pleased that Dean can. It's a hopeful moment because it means that Dean may be able to do what Cain couldn't, after all: win against the Mark.

While the Mark may speak through Cain, telling him that he will inevitably kill Sam, Cain's also tapping into Dean's old familiar mantra to save Sam at all costs---and to never ever follow through on the kill command. This is unintentional. Cain, so far gone in his fall to the disease, doesn't quite understand that Sam is not the liability or the victim he paints him to be. Instead, Sam is Dean's greatest strength. It is only because of Sam that Dean has made it this far.

When Cain killed Abel, his brother was removed from the story. He was a passive being that had found death on the end of the First Blade as the first murder. He couldn't speak anymore after that. There was no way for him to confront Cain for what he had done. There was no way for him to stand up to him. Cain had killed him and he had disappeared. His only presence in Cain's life was to be the ghost that chased him down through the centuries---the guilt that the Father of Murder could never quite shake.


Sam, on the other hand, is very much alive. He's also been the very reason that Dean became human again. If not for him, Dean would have become another Knight of Hell, eternally killing everyone and anyone that got near him. He would have fed its addiction with pleasure. But, because Sam managed to use their knowledge about a cure, he was able to help Dean reclaim his humanity. He was able to help Dean remember who he is and not what he had become. Sam gave this to Dean. Sam gave Dean a second chance to stand up to the Mark.

Since then, he's been Dean's biggest supporter, care giver, and advocate. He's the one that watched his brother closely, making sure to get in the killing blows to prevent his brother from reigniting the Mark so soon after the cure. He's the one that supported his brother's choice in resuming hunting to make amends---after all, he understood that after what happened upon killing Lilith. Sam's the one that made sure to keep an eye on his brother after Dean killed Olivia. Sam has been the one to call Dean back to himself at every turn---after Dean killed Abaddon and after Dean nearly killed Metatron. He's the one that pulled Dean from his funk after he beat on Dark Charlie---getting him to go and help on a hunt and remember what it means to commit to the family business of “saving people, hunting things.”

While Sam didn't like Dean's statement about giving up on finding a cure, he supported that, too.

He knows that his brother will fight hard against the Mark, and now that they're facing the actual moment that his brother will have to use the Blade on Cain, he knows he'll have to fight even harder for his brother. Sam knows that they must do this, and as they discuss the means and methods, before Dean can even say it, he says “The Blade.” It's resigned, knowing that they have no choice. It's quiet, too, showing that not only does he understand in order to save innocents, he understands that Dean must do this to face his disease head on.


As Dean honestly expresses to him that he must do this alone, Sam accepts this, too. It is his acceptance, support, and patience that has made all the difference to Dean. Unlike Abel, Sam isn't passive. He's not silent. He's not invisible. Sam has the ability to speak up for Dean. He will stand as a solid reminder of Dean's humanity. While Cain may see Sam as a victim, someone destined to find his death on the end of the Blade, Sam is proving that he's more than that. He's the key to Dean's success.

This is most apparent after Dean emerges from the barn, stumbling weary, broken, and changed by the Mark, Blade, and the killing of Cain. Dean sounds rough when he speaks, looks like he's teetering on his feet, and is emotionally raw. Anything could flip the switch in his head---could trigger the disease to overcome him. In many ways, Dean's emergence from this room must be what it's like to come back from a medical test that leaves one feeling far worse than before.

Dean, showing yet another feat of strength, hands the Blade over. Instead of handing it to Crowley---the one who had been keeping it---Dean hands it to Castiel. While Sam may be his support, he is too close to the situation---too close to Dean physically---for him to hold onto it and keep Dean away from it safely. Castiel is the logical choice. He won't use it as leverage, he'll keep it well hidden so if Dean should fall to the Mark's disease he won't be able to find it, and he'll keep others from finding it to dangle as a carrot.


Yet, this act seems to be where Dean's strength ends. He turns to a stunned and emotional Sam, collapsing into his brother's welcoming and strong arms. Sam, ready to catch him, pulls him close and praises, “You did it. Dean, you did it.” Sam is salving the wounds he incurred in that room, giving Dean the very thing he needs in this moment. Cradled in Sam's arms, Dean can recenter himself, start to recover from his experience, and be assured in his brother's support and love.

Without Sam waiting to catch him, it's possible that Dean would have succumbed to the Mark ages ago. Without Sam waiting outside that door, Dean would have gladly taken Cain's offer. Without Sam, after Dean killed Cain, it's possible the monster he feared would have emerged yet again. It's the knowledge that Sam was waiting for him that saved Dean here. It was the knowledge that Sam would catch him when he fell that allowed him to hold onto his sanity long enough to get through the ordeal of killing Cain---and symbolically killing the Mark itself.

As they end up back at the Bunker, Dean is still shaky, barely holding on. He keeps his focus not on Castiel, but on his brother. It is as if this reassurance that Sam is there---alive---is what will keep him going. He will also take solace in Sam's words, finding strength he doesn't have in them. Sam tells him, “What you did back there, it was incredible. You know, if you can do that without losing yourself, that's cause for hope---even without a cure.”

Now that Dean knows what the Mark wants, knows what it will try and make him do, he fully knows what the stakes are. His demonic self had once tried to kill Sam---will the Mark try and make him do so again?

Or will he find his salvation in Sam?


As he goes to rest, Sam tells Castiel, “Dean's in trouble.”

Tuned to his brother's emotions, needs, and struggles this season more than ever before, Sam knows that their fight has only begun. Dean managed to get through this, he managed to wield the Blade and use it to stop Cain, and he may have been able to hand the Blade over afterwards, but what of the next time? What will happen the next time the Mark pulls on Dean?

In the aftermath of this traumatic event, Sam can see just how fragile his brother truly is---how vulnerable. He knows Dean is strong. He knows his brother can get through this---and he meant every word he said to Dean---but he knows they're a long way from succeeding. His brother is barely holding on right now. If they are faced with another situation like this too soon, Sam fears that Dean might not be able to fight back hard enough---to hold up as well.

It will mean that Sam will have be ever more vigilant, watching and supporting his brother to keep him whole, to fight for his humanity---and to fight for their brotherhood against the Mark's dark disease.

If anything, unlike Cain, Dean will not have to face this disease alone. He'll have his brother, Sam, and that's why he'll win in the end.

Where else in the episode do you see disease discussed?

Comments  

sugarhi15
# sugarhi15 2015-02-23 21:16
there's nothing else left to say....you said it all.....thank you. thank you very much. :)
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-02-23 23:54
Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you really enjoyed this take so much. Thanks again.
Prix68
# Prix68 2015-02-23 21:38
Excellent article! Really moved by your thoughts on this one. Thank you so much.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-02-23 23:55
Thanks for the comment. I'm so glad this one moved you. It means a lot to hear that. Thanks again.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-02-23 22:02
I watched the episode again last night (for the trivia game). I was paying extra attention (trivia game) and I noticed two things at the end of the episode. When Dean came out of the room having killed Cain (and I loved your analysis of what the blade wants Dean to do) he handed the Blade to Cas but confronted Crowley. The look on Sam and Cas' faces seemed to me to be worried that Dean was poking a bear here. It almost looked like they were a little shocked by what Dean was saying to Crowley. To me it was almost like Dean was serving Crowley notice (maybe a little payback for taking the Blade away from him) that he might not have been on Cain's hit list but he is definitely on Dean's. The first kill that Cain warned Dean he would commit. The other scene was in the bunker. Cas walked into the room and the first thing Dean asked about was where was the Blade. Not is it hidden safely away from me but where is it. And then when Dean walked past Cas there was a strange look on Dean's face. To me it looked like the Mark had taken over for just a moment. Like maybe it wasn't going to let this stand and it would do whatever it needed to do to get it's precious back. The second Kill. It was a definite look that I suppose could be interpreted many ways but that is what it looked like to me.
But I do agree with you about Sam. Sam isn't going to be a passive target for the Mark. He knows that Dean didn't come out of the room unchanged. He knows that something is really wrong. I don't think he will let his guard down or ever give up on finding a cure. And since I think that Dean is slowly going to lose his battle it will be up to Sam to figure it all out.
I loved everything about this episode and I loved your review. Thank you as always it was a wonderful read.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-02-24 00:00
Thanks for the comment.

I think you're onto something in the subtlety of Jensen's performance and the dialog used in those scenes for sure. There was no reason for Dean to tell Crowley that he lied when he handed the Blade to Castiel. He could have said something to the effect of "When I said I'd give it back, I didn't say I'd give it to you." Instead, he admits to setting up Crowley. Perhaps that part of him being controlled by the Mark remembers Crowley taking the Blade away. And yes, he was very keen to ask Castiel where he put it. On one hand, I think that's definitely something to do with the Mark---when you couple it with Dean's face as he passes Castiel---on the other, I think Dean may have been testing Castiel, to see if he'd really keep it safe and away from him, all without telling Dean where. Castiel passed.

I love that Sam is the one that Dean turned to so many times in this episode, that it was because of Sam that Dean managed to get through at all. And I love that Sam knows that they're going to have a harder time going forward now that this has happened. It means he will do everything and more to save Dean.

Thanks again.
Kate
# Kate 2015-02-23 23:57
Love this article!! thanks!
Oh, man! this has gone in my top five! Whoa. The main thing that jumped out at me was how similar this was to "no rest for the wicked". We finally hear Dean say he's scared, something he's only said once (twice?) in in the whole show. That reassuring smile he gave to Sam as he walked up to what he thought was his end, was the same one we saw him give Sam as that clock struck midnight and the hellhounds howled. Lastly, that look of pain and terror as moments before he raised the blade to strike down Cain I'd only ever seen from him in hell, when he was crying out for Sam to help him. I felt like all he wanted to do was cry out for Sam here too. Instead. of being in hell, he knew Sam was waiting for him outside, and in some strange way, I felt like this was Dean emerging from hell again.
The brokenness and the vulnerability he had upon exiting was so raw, I don't think I've ever gotten the sense that Dean was broken so completely and that Sam literally was holding him together.

I will say that this fight terrified me. I believed Cain, just like Dean believed him - that the Mark wants Sam. Dean's protestations seemed more of a denial of some truth that a rebuttal. He's known for a while now. Dean holding back, trying to resist - nearly getting killed by it- and yet it ends with Dean begging him to stop, begging it not to be true, pleading for this not to be real. The moment he acknowledges that the Mark wants Sam, (lets not forget the fresh memory of the bunker/demon hunt) and how capable he might be of actually doing it...this is what breaks him. there is no hope to stop it, no cure for it.

Remember what Sam said a few episodes back when Dean when guano on Metatron? That Dean was too quiet- that he was too calm because he was too afraid of what would happen if he exploded? Well, not only do we get that from the post battle kitchen scene - Sam pouring coffee, watching Dean caringly only to realize how disturbed and affected he is by the fight and then offering an attempt to console him by giving him proof of hope- since he held it together with Cain, there's hope. But Dean's response is anything but hopeful. Its raging denial and despair behind the standard Dean 'I'm fine" mask. Sam has always seen through it.
Then, Cass walks in and immediately the mark aches for the blade. "Where is it?" Dean asks, half expecting/wanti ng an answer. He doesn't get it and immediately checks himself out to his room for four days. In other words, he's going to hide away from them. Dean also flexed his hand/Mark as he got up. The mark was burning from the moment Cass walked in.
And then, that look. The look Dean has on his face as he pats Cass on the back and walks away was a volume in of itself.

Poor Sam, doing his utmost to save his brother, knowing all too well what it feels like to have evil pumping in your veins and you can't scrub it clean. Knowing the addition to that evil and how good it felt. Sam knows better than anyone which is why he is so deeply affected. He's in extreme pain too and this, I'm afraid, might lead him to do something desperate to save his big brother.






As you mentioned, this seemed a sort of metaphoric battle between Dean and his inner evil/Mark- the Mark wanting, prodding, goading, antagonizing.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-02-24 00:11
Thanks for the great comment.

I have to agree completely with your comparison of Dean in this episode to how he acted in "No Rest for the Wicked." Dean has always tried so hard to soften those kinds of blows to Sam, so we see that smile that hides the fact that he thinks he's doomed while he's trying to say "It'll be okay, you'll see." And I don't think Dean has said he's scared more than these two times, not about himself, not about something like this. I also like your idea that Dean was emerging back from Hell a second time to return to Sam after this fight. It's a beautiful image.

I think Dean firmly believes what Cain says, and I think he knows that it'll be his fate. But I also think he really wants to believe what Sam said, and I think if he can remember to never ever fulfill the kill command he'll have a chance to do what Cain couldn't. After all, that powerful nature inside Dean to save Sam can be something that could fight back inside Dean and give him an edge over the Mark. It's a matter of tapping into it and not wallowing in what Cain said and what happened.

And I think the fact that Sam does notice Dean and his emotional state is an advantage for them. Sam's not unaware that there's something brewing in his brother's head and that there's a lot more being left unsaid here. He's not some sitting duck waiting for Dean to snap and fall to the Mark. I do think he totally understands where Dean's at. As you said, he's been there. He knows what it feels like to have an evil inside that won't be sated by anything but more destruction. I don't know what he'll end up having to do to save his brother, but it'll be something big. I'm just going to have tissues ready for whatever that may be.

Thanks again.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-24 00:14
I still think the audio in the kitchen scene was a big hint that Dean is not 100% Dean. The sound of the slurp of the coffee to the sound of the liquid being poured and the caraffe being put back. The sound made on the cup... Did DemonDean have hyper hearing? Cause I think our Dean does now. His asking Cas where the FB was/is also another red flag. Why ask a question you know Cas won't answer. The look when he walked by Cas on his way to his room? If you believe DemonDean is still hanging around in the background then we are getting a glimpse. I don't know if it's DemonDean lite or the evil of the FB/MOC influencing him but Sams right - "Houston, we have a problem!"
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-02-24 00:22
Thanks for the comment.

Oh I think there's some big changes happening in Dean. I like that you point out the sounds of the coffee being poured. I don't know if that's an indication of the slow reemergence of Demon Dean, but I think it's a hint to something darker---couple d with the look on his face as he walks past Cas. As for his asking for the Blade's location, my ears perked up on that, but I also took it as a test to see if Castiel would keep it hidden even from him---especiall y from him. At this stage, I think Dean's the only one that can use the Blade now. I'm with Sam, though. Dean is totally in trouble. I look forward to seeing how they manage to fight back against the Mark.

Thanks again.
percysowner
# percysowner 2015-02-24 15:04
Unlike Abel, Sam isn't passive. He's not silent. He's not invisible. Sam has the ability to speak up for Dean. He will stand as a solid reminder of Dean's humanity. While Cain may see Sam as a victim, someone destined to find his death on the end of the Blade, Sam is proving that he's more than that. He's the key to Dean's success

We don't know what Abel was, frankly. We know what Cain, the guy who murdered him SAID Abel was, but we have no knowledge outside of that. Abel may have fought. He may have told Cain that Cain was wrong. He may have had no idea Cain was coming for him, so he wasn't being passive, he was just not being paranoid.

My opinion is that Sam has been distressingly passive this season. His role is limited to telling Dean that Dean is right, good, a great person who won't fall under the Mark. It's great for Dean and probably has helped him keep his balance thus far, but it's not taking an active role. Even when Sam "cured" Dean from being a demon, what he did was off screen and only accomplished after Cas entered the picture. We were shown a Sam who was such a doofus that he let Dean escape the Devil's trap and had to be rescued, a Sam who didn't even use his own blood to cure Dean, but had to move outside himself; a Sam whose role in the actual final cure of Dean was not shown to us, and a Sam who was told by Dean that Dean probably should thank him, but who Dean didn't actually thank. Sam has been tossed into walls, and knocked unconscious this entire season. Any attempt to not be passive leads to Sam being taken out of the action completely.

I know some of us hope that Sam will cure Dean of the MOC, but thus far I haven't seen him take an active role. If cast statements are any indication, if Sam does take an active role it will backfire by having him become "dark" and needing saving by Dean. My feeling is that Sam has been rendered as useless for most of the MOC storyline, and I'm not sure if there is any intention for that to suddenly change, at least not in any way that makes Sam a protagonist and not something Dean actually NEEDS to kill.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-02-24 16:51
Thanks for the comment,

No, we don't know what happened in the lead up to the murder of Abel. And we don't know what happened during by any means. It's possible that Abel did fight Cain---and lost. But what we do know is that afterwards he was dead and therefore no longer in the picture in any way significant beyond being the guilt Cain carried. His passiveness, to me, then comes in the aftermath, not in the before as we don't know the before.

As for Sam, I have to respectfully disagree. As soon as he realized Dean was missing, Sam went on the search, calling hunters, searching texts, and tracking Crowley, knowing that was the way to find Dean. He may not have used his own blood in the cure, but I see that as him wanting to avoid ending up in a situation similar to the way the Third Trial nearly ended. His behavior during the cure was one filled with grief and trying to determine if he was indeed taking the right action. No where in the lore did it state that a demon would be able to move out of that Trap w/o actually being cured, so Sam didn't know that was a possibility. Now he knows if he should have to do something like this again next time.

For me, Sam has been essential to the story. I feel that if he were to be removed from the overall story, we'd be seeing a different show all together. It was Sam's call so soon after the ccure if they hunted or not, and he chose for awhile there not to do so. And it was Sam that made certain he killed what they were hunting once they started. I'm also stunned by his action to actually physically pull Dean away from Metatron---some one Sam brought into the Bunker to question, someone Sam went to get with Castiel---knowi ng that Dean could have easily snapped then and there. Sam did that.

While Sam has been saying a lot of positive things to Dean---using his words to help his brother---I feel that is as worthy as his physically pulling Dean away from Metatron, too. In the past, I don't know that Sam would have said these things, not wanting to push Dean or make him feel uncomfortable-- -or if Sam would have felt comfortable being this open. I see that as growth and action in itself.

As for the remainder of the season, I don't know what has been said or what the trajectory of the season is based on any spoilers as I don't read them. So far, I see Sam being key to how Dean will eventually win against the Mark---and rather than seeing it as simply Dean doing that, I see it as Sam AND Dean doing that.

Thanks again.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-24 17:24
Yes, this! Loving Sam this year! Strong, determined, loving, supportive, proactive, smart (unless CharlieSue is anywhere in the same vicinity...) - there to do whatever needs to be done. He still gets knocked unconcious or tied up and I'm hoping we see a lot less of that going forward but brothers working as a team, closer and more open and honest than before? I'm taking that as a win! I believe we are going to be seeing more Action Sammy!, and as a DeanG I am looking forward to it!!! 3 weeks to go?!?
Sharon
# Sharon 2015-02-24 17:51
Yes it does seem that people got the Sam they wanted playing his role and being the 'good' brother , apparently it makes him more palatable compared to the one that was around last year . I do not think much has changed in regards to Sam and the show changed last season and not for the better but he is doing what fans want .
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-02-24 18:45
For the record there are many of us out there that have never seen Sam as the "bad" brother. But honestly some of you send mixed messages. You get upset when you think he is shown in a bad light (I usually don't think he has been) and now that he is being shown as the "good brother" in your words, you are still not happy. I know and agree with some of the complaints about Sam's lack of POV sometimes. I agree he spends far too much time unconscious. But I don't agree that he is being just wallpaper this year and being the dutiful brother. I think he busting his ass to find a cure for his brother and at the same time monitor and be protective of him. I know some of you think it's just because he is concerned and worried about Dean that some of us "fans" like this season. That couldn't be farther from the truth for me. And many others. I just LOVE it when the brothers show concern and caring for each other. I loved it when Dean did the same for Sam. Some fans see the caregiver role as somehow demeaning. I watch the show for this, not to see them at odds like they have been the last few years. I think a great deal has changed since last year IMO. The boys are keeping less to themselves. They actually TALK a little. Dean has dropped a lot of his defensiveness and is leaning (hard) on Sam for support who is giving it unreservedly. The second half is rumored to be a good one for Sam/Samgirls. I am hoping that is true.

Quoting AlyCat : "Strong, determined, loving, supportive, proactive, smart". I don't see how any of these words can be considered bad!
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-24 21:04
Exactly this!!!!! Thanks Leah!
percysowner
# percysowner 2015-02-24 21:26
I guess I haven't been clear on what my issue is with both Sam being "bad" and now Sam being "good". Let me say that once I knew Sam didn't have a soul, I loved Soulless!Sam. He was fun and snarky and smart and interesting. He was also amoral and driven. He had zero empathy, but I understood why he behaved the way he did and he defended who he was and what he did. I would have liked to see Sam starting to use his powers and being corrupted by them. What I got was Sam using his powers and getting 2 lines about why, the first was Sam saying that he saved 80% of the hosts and the second when he told Dean he couldn't clean himself of the blood and was simply trying to make something good out of his curse. Other than that, we got every single character saying how wrong Sam was to use his powers. We saw how BAAAD Dean felt when Sam didn't stop because Dean disapproved. The angels told Dean that he was evil and had to be stopped. Bobby didn't want him using his freaky psychic stuff to save his life. There was ZERO balance and ZERO explanation as to why Sam was going off the rails. The same thing happened in season eight. Sam doesn't look for Dean. Sam gets one line "I thought you were dead" and that is all the explanation of why he didn't look for Dean and moved on with his life. Dean got to tell Sam that Benny was more of a brother than Sam HAD EVER BEEN. Dean got to bitch about Sam's betrayal for all of season eight and frankly continues to this day by bitching in Fan Fiction that Sam hit a dog and met a girl. When Dean does something "bad" like tricking Sam into being possessed we see every step that leads to that decision. When there is fallout, Sam's voice is silenced as to his pain. "You don't get to feel anything about killing Kevin, that's on me." and we immediately see how much PAIN Dean is in and Cas tells Dean that he didn't do anything BAD, he just shoved the wrong angel into Sam. The violation wasn't the problem, the problem is that Dean got tricked. When Sam expresses that what Dean did destroyed Sam's trust in Dean we get scene after scene of how HURT Dean is, but not one of how Dean's betrayal of Sam affected Sam.

What is harder for me is that Sam being "good" has become defined as doing what is good for Dean. Does it make Sam happy? Who knows or who cares? Sam's total worth is defined as being good to Dean. In season five Dean spent the entire season telling Sam that Sam was lower than dirt because he had betrayed Dean's trust. In season nine Sam is bad because he makes Dean feel bad about betraying him. In season ten, Sam is good because he never voices one negative thing about Dean and because he is willing to continue to stay with Dean who is WEARING A MARK THAT REPRESENTS FRATRICIDE because it's good for Dean. Sam has to put his very life at risk every day to be good. Cain makes it clear that if/when Dean kills Sam it will be far, far more devastating for DEAN than for Sam, because SAM'S life only matters in respect to how Dean feels about it.

I know we disagree on this point, but it goes to my earlier argument that the framing of Supernatural has become too unbalanced FOR ME. You have no problem with the way the story is being told. I'm happy for you and I understand. I have a lot of issues with how it is being told, because it diminishes the importance of Sam AS AN INDIVIDUAL, and relegates him to only being important as someone who shores up Dean.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-02-24 22:20
You are right we disagree. Especially about Sam's relevance. I think he is much more important to the show and especially this season, than simply supporting or propping up Dean. I wish you could also find a little to be happy about, but I also understand.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-24 22:22
No, we pretty much understand where you are coming from. Sometimes I think the explanation and motivation are there but we don't see it or agree with it or want to understand it as it is presented because it doesnt fall under the spectrum of what we want? That can apply to any of us. But there it is. Their weekly sandbox to play in that either thrills us or frustrates us...It honestly does confuse me tho when people say they don't know what Sam is thinking or his motivations. I have never had a problem understanding where Sam is coming from - good or bad. When Dean died in that blast with Dick I hardly thought it odd that Sam broke. Straw/camel. He not only gave up on Dean, he never looked for Kevin either. He snapped. Who wouldn't? Like he said not just Dean but everyone was gone. He'd lost everything to The Family Business so he retired. Why is that so OOC? Because they promised each other they would always look and not give up? My mom gave me a pearl of wisdom which I have had to learn the hard way several times now... Never Say Never - pretty self explanatory but sometimes a tough pill to swallow. They didn't show it because they didn't think they needed to. Show thought it more important to focus on Samelia from that point on. I got it. Didn't necessarily like it, but I understood. What I thought was sad was how they had Sam for so long act as if he wasn't glad Dean was back. Like he resented him. Dean returns from Purgatory off the rails, Sam is going thru his own PTSD...it was a rough time for the Winchesters. ;)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-02-25 00:20
Well according to the show in S8 the promise was that they wouldn't go to extreme measures to bring back someone who was presumably dead, because that never ends well (and why would Sam assume that Dean a human would end up in the land where monsters go to die is beyond me) Of course we the fans didn't really get to hear that promise so it didn't go over very well. Remember Bobby chewing Sam out about that? Sam was very happy that Dean was back but he was also feeling extremely guilty about abandoning Dean. Hence the remorse and the willingness to Sacrifice himself. To do something that Dean would be proud of him for. And even more he would finally earn Dean's trust that he wouldn't screw this up like he did every other time he tried to do the right thing.
And of course at the beginning of S9 we saw immediately what happens when you bring back someone who is going to die. And now look at the mess Dean is in. All because he brought back Sam using a supernatural save that backfired on everyone like they always do.
Honestly this season is like a breath of fresh air as far as the brothers go. They are getting along with each other (now that DD is gone), Sam is the rock that Dean is leaning on and things are about to go to hell but hey it was fun while it lasted.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-02-25 01:39
Quote:
What I got was Sam using his powers and getting 2 lines about why, the first was Sam saying that he saved 80% of the hosts and the second when he told Dean he couldn't clean himself of the blood and was simply trying to make something good out of his curse
Agree.It was more about how it affected Dean.Dean's pensive stares .Now that Dean has the MOC story it is still Dean looking into the mirror pensively.I agree that there is no balance whatsoever.Sam is only supportive brother with nothing else .Sam does not get the lion's share of talking.I remember when the fans were asking for Dean getting the mytharc I had told I was fully in support of Dean getting it if Sam gets what Dean has.Which Sam has not got.Quote:
Sam gets one line "I thought you were dead" and that is all the explanation of why he didn't look for Dean and moved on with his life.
That was the funny thing.Sam was living on earth.But it was Dean whose version of Sam's life which was repeated again and again.It was like Sam himself did not exist ..it was Sam who Dean talked about who existed not Sam himself.Quote:
What is harder for me is that Sam being "good" has become defined as doing what is good for Dean.
This.I am not good at giffing .otherwise I would have posted that gif where people give a standing ovation.The benifit of such a Sam is the one non-villian person who is critical of Dean is silenced .I have given up hope that we will get Sam actions will be shown when he is not with Dean.Sam as a person does not exist on the show he is just there to support Dean. Sam was tarred for being critical of Dean but i was happy when Sam did that because it was a rare glimpse of Sam the person speaking and not Sam the brother.I cherish those moments and now they are not there.Quote:
Sam's total worth is defined as being good to Dean. In season five Dean spent the entire season telling Sam that Sam was lower than dirt because he had betrayed Dean's trust. In season nine Sam is bad because he makes Dean feel bad about betraying him.
Only Sam has to be the supportive brother.


and then get blamed for it just wait and watch percys it will happen.Quote:
In season ten, Sam is good because he never voices one negative thing about Dean and because he is willing to continue to stay with Dean who is WEARING A MARK THAT REPRESENTS FRATRICIDE because it's good for Dean.
There is a reason why this Sam is welcomed with open arms.Quote:
Sam has to put his very life at risk every day to be good.
Let me guess not a peep by the show about what Sam is risking.Quote:
but it goes to my earlier argument that the framing of Supernatural has become too unbalanced FOR ME.
For me too.
Jo1027
# Jo1027 2015-02-25 08:30
Amen percysowner. Standing ovation for this post. I think it sums up what a lot of Sam fans are feeling. I certainly does for me. This is my main problem with SPN and has been since season 3.
E
# E 2015-02-25 09:45
Yes Percys! I agree with every word. There is only so much defense of the situation in words like "interpretation " and various fans "POV". Then it comes down to what's on our screens:
Dean - Longing looks in the mirror in multiple episodes to indicate how he's feeling. Does Sam get that? No.
Dean - Nightmares and hallucinations to show the stress he's under with the MoC. Does Sam get that? No. Even though we were told that he was experiencing that… off screen.
Dean - Meaningful exchanges with other characters. Does Sam get that? No. He gets exposition or comic relief.
Dean - Exploration of what he says and why he says it. Does Sam get that? No. We must fill in the blanks ourselves.
Dean - Other characters speaking about him when he's not there. Does Sam get that? No. When he's not on screen he is not mentioned or considered or talked about.
Dean - Scenes with guest characters where Dean talks about himself; with Charlie, Cole, Claire, Crowley, Marianne, Castiel, Marie, Jodie, Delilah, Cain. (These are just this season). Does Sam get the same? No. He spoke with Cole about Cole and about Dean. He spoke with Cas about Dean, he spoke with Corey about Corey. He spoke with Charlie about Charlie and about Dean. He hasn't spoken to Jodie in a year. In Halt and catch fire, Dean had a nice long scene where he talked about his own issues in the guise of giving advice to Dehliah. When the camera followed Sam and he spoke with the widow all he got to do was listen to her speak about herself. In Fan Fiction Dean bonded with Marie and got to open his mind about his and Sam's lives, while Sam was teased and made fun of by Maeve for being a dork who doesn't know anything. Sam hasn't spoken AT ALL with either Claire or Cain and he hasn't spoke with Crowley (other than to threaten to kill him) since Gadreel was expelled in season 9.
Dean - Entire episodes that delve into his past (Bad Boys). Does Sam get this? Not since Season 7.

This is not an opinion, this is the fact of what is on our screens, a summary if you will. When was the last episode that delved into one of Sam's issues… was about Sam and what he's facing? Or even about Sam and how HE feels about what Dean's going through? Has Sam said one single personal thing about how Dean's situation and the MoC has affected him? Has even said "I'm worried?" No, Cas said that. When was the last time Sam said something personal? Used the work "I" or "Me?" Or another character asked Sam about himself and he gave an insightful, honest, personal answer? When was the last time Sam had any real dialogue? Instead of exposition and lines like "are you sure?" "Huh, who'd have thought something like that could happen." or "Dean!" Sam and Dean are simply not being written or presented in the same way… they just aren't; there is an imbalance in the writing that has been going on since season 4 that has only grown worse as time has passed to the point where Sam pretty much does not exist as a character outside of Dean.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-02-25 20:58
I agree with everything you said. I understand that Sam is being strong and supportive of Dean this year and that's great (although IMO that has always been who Sam is until Carver depicted him otherwise in Season 8). The problem is that it's such a one dimensional role for Sam this year. Worried looks and limited occasions in which he expresses support for Dean are the sum total of his role this year. There have been many episodes in which he had no meaningful dialogue or actions. I have been watching a fair number of older SPN episodes lately and the contrast is stark. In most pre-Carver episodes both brothers have significant roles to play, great dialogue, and interactions with guests stars. Of course there have always been episodes that centered on one brother but those used to be the exception rather than the rule. Now we've had almost a year of minimal involvement for Sam and almost no Sam POV. If someone were to just start watching SPN this year, not having seen any earlier seasons, they would have no idea that Sam as originally written is smart, tough, strong, outspoken, fiercely devoted to Dean, and did I say smart? They wouldn't know this because none of this is evident anymore. It's great that Sam is being supportive of Dean, but the old Sam would not be so passive about it. I MISS that Sam and I want him back. And not at the expense of Dean, because the show is at its best when both brothers are heavily involved in the plot in ways which are reflective of their characters. Just watch the most recent 8-9 episodes of this season and then watch 8 consecutive episodes of any season from 1-7 and the difference in Sam's role/characteri zation is glaring. Maybe there will finally be a Sam plot going forward, which will be great. But that won't justify the treatment of his character up to this point or make it any more palatable to me.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-02-25 02:39
Quote:
now that he is being shown as the "good brother" in your words,
Only as the good brother..nothing else.Quote:
But honestly some of you send mixed messages.
Percys has not.Quote:
I think he busting his ass to find a cure for his brother
One or 2 scenes in one or two episodes does not count.Quote:
I know some of you think it's just because he is concerned and worried about Dean that some of us "fans" like this season.
In spoiler tv many do say this.Quote:
I loved it when Dean did the same for Sam.
During Demon blood he was anything but.Quote:
Some fans see the caregiver role as somehow demeaning.
Dean fans do.We dont .we worried about about Sam only being a caretaker.Only my sentence caretaker/giver is not the operative word "only" is the operative word. Sam is one of the main characters and we want to know what Sam the person is thinking.everything else he does goes behind the scenes.There is no Sam the person just Sam the brother.I still see Dean fans erronously Say Dean was nursemaid in the latter part of season 8 when there has been proof given that it was not.Sam's screetime talking (not half sentences full fledged dialogues) Have greatly diminished.One episode of Sam talking does not negate his silence or departure from scenes or "fainting spells" any less glaring.Quote:
The second half is rumored to be a good one for Sam/Samgirls.
I will believe it when I see it.Quote:
Strong
lost count of how many episodes he 'fainted'.Quote:
determined
off screenQuote:
loving
We knew this.We never complained about this part.Quote:
supportive
whenever Dean was in trouble he always was.Quote:
proactive
mostly offscreenQuote:
smart
He needed Charlie's help.lol smart yeah.I will believe this when I see it.Quote:
I don't see how any of these words can be considered bad!
Just telling something does not mean it was shown.We always knew Sam was loving.Sam has many positives so does Dean.But the show does not repetatively through characters talk about sam's good points.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-02-25 05:11
I can never figure out how to do quotes, drat. Anyway I will say a few things in response. I can't believe that you see Sam as the "good" and dutiful brother and "nothing else" this episode. Jared was amazing and should be very proud of his work. As for mixed messages I was replying to Sharon's post in particular. But the last couple of years I have seen many post decry Sam as being portrayed unsympathetical ly (I didn't feel that way) and 'Why doesn't Sam ever get to be the hero?' This year he is being shown very heroically and also determined, devoted, tough, strong, supportive (in some of our eyes). But now it is bad because it deemed only to prop up Dean's character. Sorry I can understand many of the issues you have but not this one. Yeah he has been knocked unconscious way too often but I never feel he is ineffectual or weak because of that. Dean gets knocked out from time to time himself.

Well if people say it on spoilerTV then it must be true!!:D I wish Jared could gets some credit for the great work he has done in this episode and not have it get lost with in the criticism 'Sam is just there to prop up Dean' . I think we want and like to see them support each other. I won't go into "demon blood" because that is a can of worms and Sam wasn't exempt from bad behavior during that time either, however well meaning his motivations were. That does not pertain to this season or this episode.

Quoting you : "Dean fans do.We dont." That is a generalization anonymousN and not true. I am a Dean fan and I loved it when he played the caregiver. As did some other Dean/bro fans. On this site I have seen many speak derisively about Sam being a caretaker to Dean this year. So we shouldn't all be painted with the same brush.

That's all it's late, goodnight.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-02-25 05:40
Quote:
I can't believe that you see Sam as the "good" and dutiful brother and "nothing else" this episode.
I have not seen this episode and I have said one episode is simply not enough.Quote:
Jared was amazing and should be very proud of his work.
For me he has always been the best actor on the show from s01 e01.I am always proud of him and wish be as satisfied as he appears in his personal life.Quote:
But the last couple of years I have seen many post decry Sam as being portrayed unsympathetically
portrayed unsympathetically=/= portrayed as only caregiver.Quote:
'Why doesn't Sam ever get to be the hero?'
again this was neither the point Sharon or I made.Quote:
But now it is bad because it deemed only to prop up Dean's character.
Yes, because nothing about Sam is shown. and again 2 scenes in two episodes is nothing to be proud of.Quote:
Well if people say it on spoilerTV then it must be true
no it just means people are saying it.Quote:
I wish Jared could gets some credit for the great work he has done and not have it tossed aside so easily with the explanation it is just because he is supporting Dean
Don't you dare even insinuate that we think like that ..Jared's work is always great.Recently there have been comments about us not appreciating Jared's work you all who comment like that dont know us so dont put words in our mouth.And i will refrain from writing anything further .Quote:
I won't go into "demon blood"
I will go into that because Dean was horribly unsupportive that time.The situations were reversed as in that was the time Sam had the equivalent of Moc.Dean was not a supportive brother then.Quote:
On this site I have seen many speak derisively about Sam being a caretaker to Dean this year.
I have not.Quote:
That is a generalization anonymousN and not true.
Yes it is a generalization. Dean fans do say that even now.You may not but you are one person.
Catcake78
# Catcake78 2015-02-25 05:46
Respectfully, how is this discussion at all relevant to the article or the analyze that was given? You even say you didn't watch the episode. Isn't there also a discussion thread somewhere where this was better suited? Where is the talk about the episode? The story about it? The characters? Sorry, as a lurker seeing every article taken over by this discussion is very frustrating. Discussion is good but variation is also nice. The reviewers do the best they can to give us their thoughts and we should return the favor and remain on topic.

And to Far away eyes nice analyze and can't wait to see where they go next.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-02-25 05:54
Just suffice to say discussions take a life of its own.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-02-25 06:23
My apologies.You are right. Conversations do digress.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-02-25 06:20
I was talking about the great work he did in this episode, and I meant it gets lost in all the criticisms. I wasn't implying you didn't like Jared's work. It's late and my wording wasn't the best. Catcake78 is right.
percysowner
# percysowner 2015-02-25 08:53
At the top of the reply box are various icons. in the middle is ". You cut whatever you want to quote. Paste it into your reply, highlight it and hit the ". Or you can hit the " first and then paste what you want quoted in between the formatting. I hope that helps.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-02-25 11:46
Quote:
At the top of the reply box are various icons. in the middle is ". You cut whatever you want to quote. Paste it into your reply, highlight it and hit the ". Or you can hit the " first and then paste what you want quoted in between the formatting. I hope that helps.
Yes it does, thank you Percsyowner!
lala2
# lala2 2015-02-25 21:21
Leah, I can honestly say I don't recall a single significant or meaningful thing Sam did or said in this episode. I really just don't remember him doing or saying anything noteworthy. The only thing that comes to mind is the last shot of his face where he looked extremely worried and scared for Dean, but that's it. IMO, Sam has been the dutiful, supportive brother for most of the season. He doesn't really have a voice. In the above post, E, really captured my feelings re: Sam this year. As she said, we can't even get Sam's feelings on what's happening to Dean. I don't know. It's like Sam is not an actual character w/thoughts, feelings, desires, etc. He feels like set dressing to me. I don't think he has contributed anything this year. Sam is just there, IMO. I felt the same way about him in this past episode.

That said, we are all different. I think it's great you are enjoying the show and Sam. My insane love for the show has definitely died, and the writing leaves a lot to be desired IMO, esp. when it comes to Sam.
E
# E 2015-02-26 05:31
Hi lala… that's a good point. It's kind of weird actually. I can't think of one truly noteworthy or crucial thing that Sam contributed in this episode either, but at least the fact that he couldn't really help was addressed in the narrative and his frustration over that fact was shown at least a little, where as in the rest of this season his inability to do anything (or more like the writers unwillingness to show him doing anything of note) wasn't even mentioned or shown in any way at all, and frustration? No.. no frustration or conversations with anyone else… That would require Sam to interact and have dialog. Has Sam contributed even one meaningful thing this whole season? Well, he "cured" Dean I guess. Although that was pretty well diminished by having Sam use other people's blood blessed by a priest rather than sacrifice any of his own blood and then Cas swooped in for the win at the end there, but thats about it. Pretty much anyone with hunter knowledge could have cured Dean, it didn't have to be Sam per se.. so his contribution there was hardly critical, not like when he was curing Crowley. Did we learn anything new or earth shattering about Sam during the cure? Um… no, we learned that Demon Dean blames Sam for pretty much everything gone wrong in his life including Mary getting killed. And aside from that one watered down thing, achieved in episode 3 by the way, what has he done since? Can anyone tell me? What did Sam do? What did he contribute? What have we learned about him? Did we get any details of Sam researching the MoC as he searched for ways to help his brother? I mean, that's what Sam does best after all? No. Dean got the research montage if I recall. Did he go visit anyone in the hopes of finding information about the Mark? No… Cas was the one to suggest bringing in Metatron, and then most of the interactive scenes went to Dean on that one. So aside from the "cure" what has Sam contributed to this season? Can anyone say? I'll bet you can't.

Although, I guess we should really be careful what we wish for. In Season 9 what did Sam do? He was hateful and cruel to his brother, saying mean things and telling him they couldn't be brothers, which is now being used to justify Dean taking on the MoC (regardless of the fact that it didn't happen that way). And what did Sam do in season 8? He abandoned his brother to purgatory so that he could shack up with a girl, retire from hunting and visit the farmers market to buy organic apples. So under Carver I guess we should be very careful about wanting Sam to be an active participant in things. It seems that he can only be actively participating in the story when he's doing something thats being painted as awful and hurtful to Dean.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-02-26 05:46
Quote:
He was hateful and cruel to his brother, saying mean things and telling him they couldn't be brothers, which is now being used to justify Dean taking on the MoC (regardless of the fact that it didn't happen that way).
He was not hateful but hurt and said things as they were.But the show did not even go into Sam's mindset which made people who already hated just say these lies about Sam.The thing was the possession which hurt Sam and Sam's mindset were left unexplored.Quote:
He abandoned his brother to purgatory so that he could shack up with a girl, retire from hunting and visit the farmers market to buy organic apples.
This was the worst thing carver could have done.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-26 06:34
Sam didn't abandon Dean to Purgatory so he could go shack up with a girl. He lost everything to the life so he broke and decided to get out of Hunting. The girl and the dog that Sam hit were after the fact. Dean was hurt because Sam didn't look for him. Sam only said there was a girl, he never went into details with Dean over the entire thing so as far as Dean knew, Sam left him to rot for a girl.
E
# E 2015-02-26 09:31
Quote:
Sam didn't abandon Dean to Purgatory so he could go shack up with a girl. He lost everything to the life so he broke and decided to get out of Hunting.
And how in any way was that shown? How was Sam's devastation at loosing everything shown? Where were the scenes where he grieved? The scenes that showed Sam blowing up the building where Dean and Cas disappeared? Scenes that showed Sam so wrecked that he couldn't look for Kevin? There weren't any…. just scenes of Sam hitting a dog and shaking up with a girl where they spent all their time talking about HER presumed dead husband Don.

Now Dean has said the words.. "hit a dog and shacked up with a girl" on multiple occasions, most recently in Fan Fiction a full two years after the fact. Has Sam said anything at all to Dean or anyone else about how HE feels about that time? No. How many times does Dean need to say "hit a dog and shacked up with a girl" and Sam's response to be totally ignored before all we remember is "hit a dog and shacked up with a girl?" It's so much in the fan reaction as in the details of the story telling. Dean gets to perpetuate the lie over and over and over again, while NO ONE asks Sam what's going on, unless it's to berate him for not looking (Cas, Bobby and even Meg).
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-26 16:40
I'm sorry I'm not following your logic at the end there. It wasn't shown, the words were spoken by Sam himself. He "imploded". He broke. He was done. Moved on, drove aimlessly until that fateful day he hit a dog. Add to the mix the prior information we learned that he didn't look for Dean or Kevin, left it to others and quit hunting, and it was pretty clear. As much as we'd like, they can't show everything on screen. But when you look at the overall picture I thought they did a pretty good job with it. Does that mean I liked the storyline? Hell no! But it is what it is. I do feel sorry for the actress that portrayed Amelia tho...that's one face we will never be seeing show up at a Con!!!
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-26 16:45
Dean knew how Sam felt about that time. Remember 'Both feet in, anything less will get you killed" - Dean was giving his blessings to Sams choice of Amelia over hunting if thats what Sam truly wanted. If I recall Sam left Amelia before he ever knew Dean was back so Dean had nothing to do with that breakup.
lala2
# lala2 2015-02-26 10:38
I gotta agree w/E. What we know is that at the end of S7, Sam asked Crowley where Dean was, which would imply that Sam DID NOT think Dean was dead. Crowley disappears on him. What we next know is that Sam got the Impala and fixed it up. We know that he didn't do any research or investigation into what happened w/Dean. We know that Sam told Dean he thought Dean had died. We know that Sam drove around aimlessly for months until he hit the dog.

My question is when did Sam decide Dean had died? I can accept that Sam thought Dean was dead, but when did he come to that realization? Was it 10 seconds after Crowley disappeared? Was it as he was getting the Impala? I can accept that Sam had a breakdown, but I need to see that break down. I would have liked an actual story about Sam and his POV rather than the mess we got, which was all about Amelia.

Anyway . . . I'll leave it at that b/c my complaints about this arc is what got me in trouble on this board in the first place.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-26 16:59
Well I would think it may have been when Crowley told Sam "Those God bones really have a kick to them and should come with a warning label" plus the fact that he told Sam he was 'Well and truly on his own' but that's just me. He sees what happened, hears Crowleys fateful words and straw/camel... I would've liked to have seen Sam dealing or not dealing as well but instead they chose to torment us with that horrible Samelia storyline. I initially thought that it was bad casting, that Liane? had zero chemistry with Jared but then I realized it was probably supposed to be that way - that they were two damaged souls drawn together over a common tragic loss but far from soul mates. I don't even buy that Sam loved her, so much as the idea of her. How can you have zero chemistry with Jared??? Even their kisses left me yawning... While I watched I kept thinking in the back of my mind that Jared must not like to be in these sex type scenes anymore. Where was our passionate love making of Werewolves past!!!???!!! What a waste!
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-26 06:34
Sam didn't abandon Dean to Purgatory so he could go shack up with a girl. He lost everything to the life so he broke and decided to get out of Hunting. The girl and the dog that Sam hit were after the fact. Dean was hurt because Sam didn't look for him. Sam only said there was a girl, he never went into details with Dean over the entire thing so as far as Dean knew, Sam left him to rot for a girl.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-26 06:38
Whats with the double post again? I swear I only touched Submit once!!!
Sharon
# Sharon 2015-02-26 10:26
But that is what is being remembered about that particular event because nothing else was really served up. E is right in what she says that there was no real Sam voice given in the situation and with a fandom already unforgiving for him not looking it was vital IMO.
lala2
# lala2 2015-02-26 10:25
Hi, E :)

I always like chatting w/you and reading your comments. I have found Sam to be strangely absent from the show this year. It just hasn't felt like he's been present, and that's largely b/c of the reasons you outlined in your earlier post. Sam has not had any meaningful conversations w/anyone about anything that I can recall. He has not done much this season. As you said, he searched for Dean in the first few episodes, but the search was mostly shown off-screen, right? I know he tortured a CRD and tricked Lester, but did he do anything else? Not that I recall. I just remember the first few episodes split btw three-four stories, and Sam's story just wasn't that engaging. I don't want to blame the shoulder injury, but it really limited Sam. I understand it had to be written in, but it did impact the story.

Once Dean was cured, it got much worse. That was when Sam was really relegated to the background, IMO. From the third episode on, Sam has been completely irrelevant to the season, IMO. I can honestly say I don't feel much would have changed if Sam had not been in a whole bunch of episodes. In general, I find this season to be a bit on the boring side, and of all the stories, Sam's has been the most boring IMO. I don't see Sam as actually having a story. He is supporting Dean, and that could be a story, but not w/the way it is being written. I don't mind a support story for Sam. I love that he is supporting his brother b/c as you said, last year, he was written completely OOC and thrown under the bus. I just wish it weren't such a passive form of support. I wish he had more "action" in his support of Dean. His support of Dean is rather boring to me. In S3, Sam was active in his support of Dean. We saw him doing interesting things, coming up w/crazy schemes (i.e., the zombie idea), fighting w/Dean, pushing Dean to fight, trying to find solutions on his own, etc. It didn't feel like he was just there saying, "Whatever you want, Dean" and waiting for Castiel to bring him news. Why couldn't we see Sam tracking down Cain? Or interrogating Metatron? Or doing anything remotely interesting?

I feel like, this year, Sam has been stripped of his personality. He is literally just there, offering nothing, saying nothing. He has no voice. He reacts a lot but most of his reactions have been indistinguishab le. The most noteworthy reaction he had was in the last shot of this last episode. Hmm . . . I think I'd rather be angry w/Sam for harsh words spoken to Dean (i.e., S9) or OOC actions (i.e., S8) than wondering why Jared is even on this show anymore. I guess I've come to the conclusion that, under Carver, I'm never going to get a Sam I can fully enjoy. So, the OOC Sam of early S8 and S9 might be better than this watered down version.

I honestly don't think Carver knows what to do w/Sam.
Sharon
# Sharon 2015-02-25 02:54
I have not sent out mixed messages I have stated clearly time and again how I feel esp about last season and how Sam was viewed and treated . I have no issue with a loving Sam he has always been that it is the stark difference in attitudes towards Sam from last season to this that is so obvious, I never stated being supportive is demeaning although some think it has been for Dean . This season Sam is acceptable because he is acting in a way that people have wanted to see ,where as last season it was the opposite that contrast does stand out for me.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-25 14:25
FAE - I apologize that this post somehow spurred another round of Sam ~vs~ Dean wars. I honestly don't understand why it is heartfelt words that support, praise and express excitement over Sam and his storyline this year have to devolve into this? Then instead of it being a simple post of pleasure and thanks over your article I find myself in the position of having to explain myself where no explanation is really necessary and see post after post going on about the injustices to Sam... Sometimes an apple is just an apple. I apologize if my words were misinterpreted for that was not my intent and I hope this post is not either and is received in the spirit that it is intended. Anyway - Once again, great read FAE - thanks for your (and all who write these articles) hard work!!!
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-25 14:27
I apologize - I meant my original post on the thread.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-25 14:40
I dont know whats wrong with me today - I meant the post that agreed with FAEs response. My post I'm referring to is the one that reads - Yes, this! Loving Sam this year!... Sorry for the confusion.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-25 14:49
You know what I find oddly funny and sad at the same time was before I hit submit on the post I am talking about (I'll call it my "Supporto Sam post"), I had my daughter read it over to make sure that it wouldn't be inappropriate or offensive... She said and I quote - "How could it?" I told her after I submitted it to expect the same response that we ended up getting anyway. :(
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-02-25 15:09
AlyCat I just wanted to point out my that my contributions to any discussions are never Sam vs Dean. I never disparage either character. My issue is a difference in opinion on the interpretation of the characterizatio ns and portrayals of Sam and Dean. I try to see the positives. But I agree these discussions get out of hand and are disrespectful to the authors of the articles.

Far Away Eyes, I offer my apologies, no disrespect was meant. I always love and appreciate your reviews and articles very much.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-25 17:32
No problems here Leah. I understand where you are coming from. You are often the voice of reason in these posts and I appreciate that. I know when I read your posts and/or responses that I can always count on you trying to look at things from both sides in a reasonable, calm way. You oftentimes cause me to rethink my way of looking at something. I really enjoy your insights!!! I hope you didn't think I was directing that comment to you. It was more an in general comment, but you were never in my mind when I was writing it. :)
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-02-25 17:38
Thank you for that.:)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-02-25 02:27
Quote:
Sam went on the search, calling hunters, searching texts, and tracking Crowley, knowing that was the way to find Dean.
How much of the specifics were shown .2mins?Quote:
His passiveness, to me, then comes in the aftermath, not in the before as we don't know the before.
Passiveness is a byproduct of death :D.But the death itiself had/has severe repurcussions which makes it not so passive.the passiveness that Abel suffers fron is because of the story telling.In supernatural Death does not mean passiveness.The re was Bobby,Kevin etc.It is a conscious choice by the writers to have given only Cain his say that has lead to only Cain's side told.The same way no one non villian questions dean..no one questioned Cain.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-02-24 15:42
Nice article... I really enjoyed the angle you took with this.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-02-24 16:52
Thanks for the comment.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this piece. Glad you thought it a nice article.

Thanks again.
YellowEyedSam
# YellowEyedSam 2015-02-24 18:56
*applauds* Good article :)

The only thoughts I have is when is Sam going to be more than background support?
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-02-24 19:59
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you enjoyed my take on this episode. I don't know what their plans are for the remainder of the season in regards to either brother, but I've felt so close to Sam this season. I look forward to how they'll tell both brother's shared story in the remaining eps. And I hope you'll enjoy reading my takes on those as we go forward, too.

Thanks again
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-02-25 11:59
Nice review again FAE and I like your take and your continued view that the MoC is a disease. You have watched the episode a few times I see because your analyze is so detailed.

I'm wondering if they will use written facts about the original story of Cain and Abel. That if Cain is killed the killer will get everything back seven fold? That would mean that Dean really is in trouble. Of course he already is without that. I loved how Cain was the master planner and I am glad Dean shut off Crowley although I think TFW will get trouble because of that. This just was a masterful episode. It rose a lot of questions what will happen next and there are many possibilities for that.

- Lilah
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2015-02-25 12:28
Very nice review. You always see things in a way that I sometimes fail to, so I look forward to your analysis. These threads seem to get hijacked by Sam discussions and I am as guilty as the next person, so I will only say that I am loving the dynamic between the brothers this season and I do love Sam's part in this story, I just wish we got more insight into his thoughts and feelings. I was actually shocked and gratified that they allowed the camera to stay on him at the end of the episode rather than follow Dean back to his room, so I'm hoping against hope that it means that we are going to start seeing more of his side of things in the coming episodes. And I don't just mean actions, because although that will be nice, he's been active, more or less in most of the episodes. I mean his feelings and POV.

So thanks for your insights and I will look forward to more.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-02-25 14:33
Gah! Sorry I meant the post where it begins - Yes, this! Loving Sam this year... Sorry. Once start typing couldn't go back...
DJmars
# DJmars 2015-02-25 17:41
FAE, this is a great article. I love the directions you took with it. And i love your icon as well to be honest.