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Oh show.  The things you think of when killing a Manicorn.  And digging into old childhood wounds to solve a current problem.   

“Just My Imagination” is an excellent bridge of these recent MOTW stories to the big mytharc midseason finale happening next week.  More importantly, it contributed to the overall strength of this season and I never once uttered the word “filler.”  That’s an extraordinary feat given the high amount of filler by episode eight we’ve gotten in prior seasons.  The episode offered a refreshing change while integrating recent character struggles into the storyline, rather than relegating it to one conversation in the car.  In other words, Jenny Klein did her homework and compared notes with others.  

It’s very hard to give a real critical look at the core of the episode, which is an offbeat little story about imaginary friends coming to life.  Instead of words of wisdom, all I can think of is if Twilight Sparkle ever met up with a shotgun or knife, I now think she would bleed sparkly red (help me out Bronies, maybe it’s been established she does).  

All joking aside, the timing of Sully’s arrival couldn’t have been more perfect for Sam, who’s been wrestling with troubling visions and a brother that won’t talk about it with him.  If you think about it though, how would you possibly grasp as an adult your childhood imaginary friend visiting years later and he’s real?  Only in the Winchester world.  Luckily in “Supernatural” any kind of folklore, twisted or otherwise, can be explained in the MOL bunker.  What I love most about the Zanna is we got one of the supernatural good guys for once.  The human was the homicidal maniac.  Have there ever been any supernatural good guys?  Think about it, even angels are dicks. 

The dialogue was often brisk and funny, but there really wasn’t much to the plot. That wasn’t a detriment though as it gave first time director Richard Speight Jr. some golden moments to work with.  There was the funny, like a mom who can’t see all the imaginary sparkly blood she’s stepping in and rubbing all over herself.  Also, when an imaginary friend’s gift is air guitar, he must prove he has some wicked game.  The scene had to impress and it did!    

Speight also benefitted from material that bolstered his two biggest strengths, two actors that can emotionally kill us all with just facial expressions.  Given the use of flashbacks, there was plenty of those pensive and troubled facial expressions on Sam’s part and Speight captured them all beautifully.  He also got to work with some great guest actors as well.  I applaud his ability to bring out the emotion in the MOTW climax, Reese’s confrontation of Sully.  That’s usually where the episodes fall flat, but the whole thing got me a little teary.  I actually cared about these two when it was all over.  That is extremely rare with disposable MOTW stories, so huge props there.  

There were also some great creative choices with shots.  The one that stands out for me was in the first scene after the teaser, when Sam sleepily worked his way into the kitchen.  The camera stayed behind the table, with goodies in full view, while we watched Sam walk back and forth on and off camera trying to get the coffee pot going.  It added so much to the fact that Sam hadn’t noticed what was on the table yet.  When he did notice we got the eagerly anticipated reaction of surprise, which ended up being more effective because we had that POV of the goodies on the table.  I love to see directors take these kind of chances.


Digging Into Those Sam Layers

Despite my goodwill toward the MOTW though, we are all about layers at the Winchester Family Business, and there was a definite hidden elements to this straight forward monster tale (as straight forward as imaginary friends being real can get).  Let’s dig into the psyche of Sam Winchester.  You’re in for quite a trip. 

For those continuity lovers (and thankfully Jenny Klein is definitely one of them), we know from “A Very Supernatural Christmas” that Sam found out monsters were real when he was nine years old.  It was a strange time for him.  From what we saw here, and this does seem to be consistent from what we know, at thirteen Dean was eager to join his Dad in the hunts.  What know from “The Girl Next Door” is that Sam was often left behind during hunts.  Now, in “Just My Imagination,” we learn to help him cope at nine years old with the abandonment, Sam had an imaginary friend. 

It makes me smile that Sam was chosen by such benevolent creatures for help.  It goes to show that good forces have been looking out for him and not just Dean. Sam has always been torn between his desire to follow his own destiny and his obligation to be with his family, and we learned in this episode that struggle went as early as nine years old.  He was lonely and afraid then, just like he’s lonely and afraid now.   

One of their talks in the flashbacks centered over Sam running away.  I did question why an imaginary friend encouraged running away, but in thinking about it, such an act would have fueled that spirit inside Sam for following his own path.  John would have found him eventually, or Sam would have eventually gone home, but the seed would have been planted.  In “Dark Side of The Moon” we learned that Sam did eventually run away at an older age, hiding out in Flagstaff for a few weeks.  That act makes a lot of sense.  Sam has run from his family again and again and the one thing he’s learned from all those times is that he needs them.  He can’t run when he’s scared.  It all catches up to him eventually when he’s alone.   

It is interesting that Sully didn’t see the payoff of his work with Sam until years later, but Sam is a complicated person.  Kids aren’t easy that’s for sure, especially troubled ones, and I think young Sam lashed out at Sully out of fear.  He was afraid of the consequences, because John would have killed him.  No wonder Sam felt so liberated when he left for college.  He was finally free.


Sam:  I think God wants to help us fix it, but I don’t think I can do what he’s asking.
Sully:  How bad is it?  
Sam:  There’s this cage in Hell, and it’s where they keep Lucifer and I’ve been in it.  And it’s…And I think God wants me to go back.  (Sam gets visibly upset).
Sully:  Ever think about running away anymore?
Sam:  I did, and I have, but not in a while, not anymore.  

“Come on, you’re a hero.  Sam, you saved that world.  I keep track of all my kids.  You did really good Sam.”  

How incredibly cathartic that talk had to be for Sam.  This episode remedied a long standing complaint among a few “Supernatural” fans, Sam has never had a friend to talk to, especially when Dean won’t listen. Sam's been trying to talk to him since "Baby" and hasn't gotten anywhere.  It was so nice to see Sam pour out his heart to someone so easily.  Someone he could deeply trust and expose that fear and vulnerability swarming him.  It’s not that Sam doesn’t love or respect Dean, but when you have conversations in the car like the one at the end of “Plush,” where Dean shuts him down end of story, Sam is left to fester on his own.  That’s usually when Sam makes poor decisions (not in every case though).  

Sam:  Ever think maybe you’re a hero to me?  Sully, one thing I’ve learned, heroes aren’t perfect. 
Sully:  Sometimes they’re scared.  But that just means the thing that they’re facing, its super important.  And nobody else is going to go for it because nobody else has got the balls.  

Suddenly, the motivation behind Sully’s words is clear.  It’s been his point all along.  He’s basically telling Sam that it’s okay to be afraid, and running away isn’t the answer.  In other words, he can’t do this without Dean.  Sam gets the message, and the closing scene in the car has Sam pressing for options when Dean tries to give him a throw away answer.  The lump in his throat is no longer an excuse and he won't let this go.  The cage looks like the only option for now.  

Impact on Dean


Reese, trust me, revenge, ain’t gonna make you feel better.  I’ve seen more than my share of monsters, I mean real monsters, bad.  These guys, these are Sesame Street Mother Theresa's.  But when I wasn’t there for my little brother, Sully was.  Now, I’m not saying he didn’t make a mistake, but there’s not a monstrous bone in his body.  

Sully’s return wasn’t just a shot in a sore arm for Sam, but did something for Dean as well.  Believe it or not, the older Winchester brother came away with some lessons in this experience as well.   First, it was Dean that talked the killer of the week down, not Sam or Sully.  Those weren’t just words he told Reese.  He truly meant all of it, that it’s important to know who the good guys are.  Dean didn’t want to help Sully at first, so something about the good Zanna do sunk in.  Yes, even after having to bury a Mermaid.  

Second, Dean saw first hand that Sam needs a support network and Sam was very lucky to have a fallback when he wasn’t there.  It gave him a better understanding of his brother and what’s been troubling him lately.  I do wonder if there was even a tinge of jealousy to have a friend like that.  Dean hasn’t been doing too good himself and he hasn’t been opening up and sharing.  This time Dean entertained the talk with Sam about going to the cage.  He still doesn’t like the idea, he still didn’t give a great answer, but at least he talked about it.  

Dean probably needs his own support network as well and keeping his confused feelings about Amara hidden isn’t helping him.  We know that Dean has been pretty gruff this season, and his grumpy mood didn’t change in this ep.  While some are complaining they are writing Dean as a dick, others wonder if it’s a sign that something is wrong.  While that answer wasn’t given this week, Dean did soften a bit at the end when it came to Sam, so I'm leaning in the something is wrong department.  

Looking back at earlier seasons, restoring this type of order and sanity in the Winchester’s lives used to fall on Bobby, especially when the issue of Sam going to Lucifer’s cage came up the first time in “Swan Song.”  It was Bobby who talked Dean down from rejecting Sam’s plan outright.  Dean constantly leaned on Bobby for advice and wisdom at his darkest hour.  Castiel hasn’t been filling that void lately, and I do wonder why.  It just goes to show how much these two, and this show, really misses Bobby.  

In terms of the brotherly bond, Sully managed a small breakthrough.  He got the brothers talking.  Instead of my fear that Sam would go off on his own to Lucifer’s cage without Dean’s blessing, it looks like Dean will be there backing the plan (at least if the previews are to be believed).  This makes me happy.  Sam needs his brother to have his back when considering such a dangerous plan, just like with “Swan Song.”  Sam has every right to be scared.  Heck, he should be terrified, and judging by how emotional he got talking about the cage to Sully, he is.  But Sam has learned his lesson by now.  He can’t do this alone.  Bad things happen when he does.  

Stray Thoughts

-  Why the Hell is Sam getting up at 6:30 am?  Did he like have to go to work or something?  He looked really tired.  I’d be hitting the snooze and going back to bed for several hours.  You have to love the bed head on both of them though!

- Did anyone notice in the kitchen scene the shot of Dean’s bare leg when he flung around against Sully?  I noticed, again and again.  We were robbed of the front robe shot! Yes, I've been known to dip my toes in the shallow end of the pool from time to time. 

-  I've got two favorite quotes, both from Dean.  Can't decide which I love more.  Probably the second:

“Are you having a stroke?  Do you smell toast?”

“No, this is a great thing.  A Manicorn, a freaking Mermaid, what am I supposed to do with that?  But a chick in a car, that’s terra firma.  I’m home.” 

-  Sam mentioned breaking his arm when trying to fly!  Score one for continuity. 

-  “Even when he’s dead, Sparkle cannot stop shining.”  

1231 hysterically laughing

Overall grade, B+.  “Just My Imagination” is a good episode but when coupled with the main storyline, it becomes a key component.  It matters to the overall scheme.  Let’s hope the writers of the midseason finale are as in tune with the themes of the season as this one.  


# Jen 2015-12-04 06:55
Talk about Dean's one liners -- "I'll just get my gun" LOL or "Hey slacker will I bury Ariel on my own" LOL soooo many Dean is very good a comic one liners. And his daddy voice "You, Me library now" Sam hangs his head and shuffles off to the library. LOL I think Samanddean said and I agree I had a smile a mile wide through this whole episode. And yes I didn't miss the pick of sexy leg with the open gown sighhh
Now onto death and destruction next week. Be careful Sammy Please be careful
# rmoats8621 2015-12-04 06:57
Great review and I agree with you on all points made. So far, this season, unlike other recent ones, I have rewatched all the episodes multiple times (esp. Baby). My inner fan girl is loving S11 and it appears that I'm not alone.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-04 07:11
You most certainly are not alone! I am one ecstatic fangirl!:)
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-04 12:06
Average viewers seem to agree with you, samandean10, I've read that the ratings of this episode equal or are even a little bit higher than widely advertised Baby. I've read something like "the most watched episode this season".
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-05 18:53
I've read something like "the most watched episode this season".
That's good news! I hope it means the ratings will be picking up as the season goes on.
# BoGirle 2015-12-05 19:47
All the chatter about the season has been really strong, so maybe that means that there's more interest being generated and some on again, off again watchers are tuning back in. ! :)
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-05 21:17
I honestly think this is the best start to a season since S5. I am alternately excited and terrified about this week's episode. I have not the foggiest idea what direction the show will take and the suspense is killing me.
# Alice 2015-12-06 21:51
I know rmoats8621, isn't it great! I haven't been happy about a season in so long. Granted my fingers are crossed since that notorious duo is writing next week, but I still have what we have gotten so far to cling onto. It's a breath of fresh air for a long time fan.
# Jen 2015-12-04 07:18

For Alice Thanks for all your wonderful reviews so far this season Enjoy & everyone else LOL xxoo
# Lilah_Kane 2015-12-04 10:49

- Lilah
# BoGirle 2015-12-04 20:02
Mmmmm... bare leg and a bit of boxer. Nice.
# Jen 2015-12-04 21:17
I love those boxers on men mmmmmmmmmm :o:o:o
# Alice 2015-12-06 21:52
That's perfect! Thanks so much. I'm saving that one and putting it into our GIF directory.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-04 07:35
Alice, I agree with your opinion almost word for word. Hah, you notice I said almost.;)
I loved everything about this ep. But I'm a little surprised that viewers think Dean is generally being made out to be a dick, either in this ep or even in the other eps. As far as young Dean, it seemed clear that he had approached John on Sam's behalf to get Sam invited along on the hunt. When John refused, what on earth was Dean supposed to do? He clearly demonstrated love and caring for Sam in their brief phone conversation.

As far as adult Dean, I think his reactions to the whole Sam/visions from God/visit to the cage issue make sense for the most part. Sam's track record with visions is simply awful, his previous visions having been related to his demon blood; God really didn't help them much in averting the apocalypse and was content to let Sam spend eternity in the cage; and that time in the cage was indescribably and unbearably awful for Sam. So to me, underlying all of Dean's curt responses when Sam brings up the visions or the cage is Dean's fear that bad things will ensue if Sam trusts in these visions, and his very understandable horror at the thought of Sam going anywhere near the cage. I've always felt like Dean might have regretted consenting to Sam jumping in the pit, because of all that Sam suffered there and after his release. So it is completely out of love for Sam that Dean won't even entertain the notion of Sam returning, at least up til this point. Now, I do wish that Dean would be more expressive about the emotions that I think underlie his attitude. But this season I mostly see him as bottling up those emotions more than being a dick. I would love to see some of the Dean we saw at the end of S8, with so much blatant love and concern for Sam. But the past couple of seasons the writers seem to have really taken the "no chick flick moments" Dean to heart. Bottom line, IMO Dean has good reason for his reactions to Sam's visions and idea of returning to the pit, and the basis of those reactions is his love for Sam, although he most certainly could be a little more open to discussing them with Sam. I think his fear and horror at what Sam is suggesting prompt his reflexive "no way, end of talk" reaction. I just hope that there is a scene (maybe next week) where Dean admits some of this to Sam, maybe with the accompaniment of a reaalllly long bro hug.
# Jen 2015-12-04 19:50
May I just say that all personnal view points aside. all past episodes aside and everything we know about Sam & Dean, the things they have achieved, the things they did wrong put all that to the back of your mind. Would you let your brother return to the cage in HELL. Both Sam & Dean know what happened before. Both our terrified. Sam for himself Dean for Sam Yes Dean should and in a brisk way has spoken to Sam very briefly about it. And Dean is probably more worried because he doesn't believe its god sending the messages. Sam is so desperate to fix this wrong (AGAIN, thanks writers) he is willing to TRUST these visions. TRUST everybody. I think Dean is tired of these trust issues with Sam. TRUST US Sam is what Dean said == well Dean elaborate TALK I just don't won't Sam getting kicked in the face jet again Yes it looks like Dean is with him and maybe Rowenna can only send 1 person to the pit of hell / another still shot shows Dean surrounded by angels (3) heaven obviously can't spare anymore Maybe Dean went to Cas for this arrangement who knows.
# BoGirle 2015-12-04 20:10
If letting my brother go back to the cage in hell meant defeating the Darkness, the plague that we ourselves set on the planet by mistake, then yes, I'd say that I WOULD support my brother going back to the cage and I'd try to help him as best I could so that he had every chance of succeeding. And that is exactly what I expect that Dean will do, despite his reluctance to even discuss it now. I just wish he was a little more open and willing to talk; not just for Sam's sake but because as a dramatic device his "No, absolutely not. End of discussion" sucks and doesn't work.

And it also occurs to me that as a dramatic device, that neither brother has asked Cas about what Sam is seeing is dumb. I mean, you have an angel in your back pocket... the angel who managed to actually get said brother OUT of the cage in the first place. Why WOULDN'T you ask him?
# Jen 2015-12-04 21:13
BoGirle I know this is a site for everyone's thoughts and ideas, I was just getting concerned with the above heated discussion

I agree with all you said about the cage and Dean's support it the snap shots it looks as though it is, Thankfully. We have had a wonderful season so far Episodes have been great full of little hints here and there Maybe 2 eps below par . But brilliant The thing is however there are inconsistencies right throughout the season. As you metioned where is Cas in all of this. Rowenna has gone AWOL (don't mind)
she is back next week, they don't appeared to have done a lot of research or looking around the bunker for answers
# BoGirle 2015-12-05 07:30
Don't worry about things getting heated. They often do. We are a passionate bunch!! :):D:D
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-05 08:13
Agreed E. And I can only speak for myself, but I never have a problem with differing opinions as long as they're not accompanied by personal attacks on the other commenters. This site would be boring if we all agreed all of the time. That being said, it's quite odd being on the opposite side of an issue from you! It's kind of interesting, actually, because it keeps me on my toes. :)
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-05 18:55
And Dean is probably more worried because he doesn't believe its god sending the messages.
I agree Jen.
# Alice 2015-12-06 22:06
Dean's always been a skeptic, so his reaction is not unexpected. Remember Dean's words at the end of "Sam, Interrupted?" He told Sam to bury it. That's Dean's gut instinct. That's exactly what he's doing with Amara, even though he knows something else is going on there. It's probably the only way he can stay sane. However, he should know by now, after the countless times that Sam hasn't listened to him, that Sam isn't going to let this go. It's been bothering him way too much. He should be coming up with a way to prove this isn't God, or helping Sam explore this further. If he doesn't he definitely should know by now that Sam will go off on his own and do that. That was the third time Sam brought that up and Dean should know by now not to let this go. Dean should be really worried that something is wrong with Sam, but he isn't.

No, I think something is off with Dean, and it's not from him shutting down talk of God visions in the car. He's been abrasive in general, to everyone. He wasn't even sympathetic to Castiel. Dean usually emotionally connects with people involved in the story of the week and there's been none of that this year. The closest he came was Len and he still seemed off with him. The only episode we remotely have seen the real Dean Winchester is "Baby." I really believe that is intentional on the writers' part and it's going somewhere. Whether they'll explore that further or just end up sweeping it under the rug is a different story, but he isn't the normal Dean.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-07 07:39
No, I think something is off with Dean, and it's not from him shutting down talk of God visions in the car. He's been abrasive in general, to everyone. He wasn't even sympathetic to Castiel.
Alice, I guess I'm in the minority on this but I don't see any real difference in Dean's behavior. Other than the odd way he acts when he is around Amara or when the subject of Amara comes up, I think he has been behaving more like normal Dean than he has since the first half of S 9. I honestly don't think he's been any more abrasive than usual. He has always had that tendency. He was pretty harsh and unsympathetic towards Kevin at times in S7, S8 and S9. He has been VERY abrasive towards Cas on many occasions over the years. And I think he has often been less immediately sympathetic towards the guest stars than Sam been. Maybe I'm just so thrilled to have "old" Dean back that I'm missing subtle signs. I assume we will find out shortly if you're right about him, but to me he seems pretty much like his old self, warts and all, and I'm really enjoying it.
# BoGirle 2015-12-07 08:29
I think I agree with you S&D, but I'm not positive. To me this seems like old Dean with a bit more of an edge. It did kind of bother me how rude he was to Sully for pretty much the whole episode, but I didn't think it was necessarily unusual for the Dean of the Carver years. If it turns out that I'm wrong and that his attitude does stem from what's going on with Amara I would be fine with that. Actually it might be a bit of a relief.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-07 10:24
I'm in full agreement with you samandean10, Dean looks like Dean to me, he was even worse with Henry Winchester and Garth when he first met him. There were times, when he was a bit milder, but it was long ago, it was before his going to Hell, before Lisa and Ben, before Bobby's death and before the Purgatory.
# spnlit 2015-12-09 19:22
I agree. I do not think there is anything seriously altered or changed about Dean. He is just seriously distracted by his unspoken attraction/ magnetic connection and need to protect Amara. I also think it is in character for Dean to be wary and gruff with Sully. Dean does not like anyone who changes his family dynamic or comes between him and Sam. Initially Dean did not like the idea of another brother (Adam) and was even a rude to his own grandfather- Henry Winchester (whom I must say I really liked and would like to see return for an episode).
# njspnfan 2015-12-04 10:08
Wow... another solid episode; this season is fitting together nicely, weaving the mytharc in to the MOTW stories. Not sure who is responsible for this (Andrew Dabb ?) but nice job. I gave it a B/B+. I found nothing canon-inconsist ent in the way Sam was portrayed as a child; as Alice mentioned, this all ties in to things we have found out in prior flashbacks. They are going a little heavy on the anvils; is this the 3rd or 4th episode this season with the sound of a train/train whistles in the background when the conversation/vi sions veered towards the cage?

Dean's reactions to Sam's visions are somewhat understandable; it's just a shame he shuts down the conversation so harshly and abruptly since it is clearly weighing heavily on Sam. It was nice that Sam had Sully to really talk to because it is scaring the crap out of him. Still wondering how they're going to approach this; redemption arc for Lucifer, Lucifer ends up tricking everyone with Sam to blame for trusting him, or something in between?
# Fazzie 2015-12-04 11:48
Dean's reactions to Sam's visions are somewhat understandable; it's just a shame he shuts down the conversation so harshly and abruptly since it is clearly weighing heavily on Sam
I get completely why he is cutting the conversations short even though it is weighing on Sam. Sam in the cage and afterwards not a great time in Dean's life. Sure he loved Lisa but he was an emotional mess, his brother comes back soulless, then gets his soul back and then goes mad and then passes that maddness to his best friend. Dean shutting down the conversation is just his way of saying he doesn't want to risk anything like that again because from his POV he went through hell, the people he loved went through hell and he couldn't stop most of it.

As for anvils - think Sully was a giant anvil for Sam and his life and how the story is going to go. Trying and screwing up and it coming back to biting him and those he cared for on the ass, can see it turning into a redemptive arc for Sam, though do feel we've had too many of those for Sam, better have one for God himself as having one for Lucifer I can see backfiring.
# njspnfan 2015-12-04 12:26
True, but if Dean knows his brother as well as he thinks he does, he also knows Sam is not going to let go of this. And, while that may have been true from Dean's POV, being locked in the cage was no picnic for Sam either. As far as Dean's best buddy taking on the madness, well, didn't he break the wall in Sam's noggin in the first place? But, on the bright side, at least Sam is being up front about his visions, which is more than can be said for Dean and his connection to Amara.

Regarding God, not sure how that plays out; another theory is that God doesn't intercede that much because he can't; what if, besides sacrificing Amara, he also made sacrificed a lot, too?
# Fazzie 2015-12-04 13:43
He knows that Sam isn't going to let it go either but up until the point he said the lump in his throat is no excuse he isn't exactly pushing it because as you said from Sam's POV the cage was no picnic. I think that is why he also cuts off and Sam doesn't push anymore. Sam is as reticent about the cage as Dean is - he has a lump in his throat he says and now after Sully it isn't an excuse. Dean cutting him off and not being for it meant that he had support to go with his own reticence and both he and Dean know that. Dean cutting Sam off means Dean is the bad guy and Sam can say he tried but wasn't exactly sure as he isn't sure. But as shown with the infected if he truly wanted to follow his own way there is nothing really stopping him apart from himself.

As for Cas breaking the wall, breaking it or not it hurts to watch someone you care for going through pain especially if you brought them there to try and stop it - which Dean did, he took Cas to that hospital thinking Cas could do something. There was no delibrate plan to make Cas take Sam's madness, just to get Cas to help Sam in some fashion. That hurts even if it can be argued the person in question caused the problem in the first place.

As for Dean's connection to the Darkness, like Sam with his visions Dean has been open about the vision he had at the beginning of the season, as for the rest it is pretty clear he is in denial about his real connection to her - how can he explain it to others if he himself is trying to deny it exists to himself?

And that is another thing, why should the boys trust the visions if they aren't from Lucifer pulling a fast one but are truly from God? The series implied Chuck is god, he saved the boys from Lucifer and put them on a plane, he talked to Joshua so they aren't saying he is out of the loop altogether. Until they say he doesn't have the power to do anything why should the boys actually trust the being who set their and their parent's existence up as pieces of chess, who could have sorted out the grudge match between Lucy and Michael before the apocalypse when he is telling them he isn't getting directly involved himself but he is palming dealing with his sister off to them and the kid of his that had a major tantrum?
# njspnfan 2015-12-04 16:00
Yes, Sam can ultimately make his own decision but at least he is being open about this, along with his reluctance to pursue it.

I don't think we know enough of the story of God and Amara to make a final judgment yet. And yes, God is not out of the loop but my point was that one of many possible theories is that God also "sacrificed" in creating the universe and, as a result, is only able to intercede on a very limited basis. Not necessarily saying I buy in to it but it is a possibility.

As far as who is sending the visions, I've always thought that if Lucifer had the ability to mess with Sam, he would have been doing so since Sam and his soul were rescued from the cage. I just don't think Michael or Lucifer would be able to do this without someone/somethi ng (God, Amara, ?) facilitating it.
# AlyCat22 2015-12-04 20:02
I'm calling it now. Sully is The Darkness! Yup, that's correct. Don't argue, you know I'm right. ;)
# cheryl42 2015-12-04 12:27
Anvil's...if the show doesn't spell it out fans get pissed. If they do fans cry anvils. Show can't win.

At least Sam is trying to do something. He screwed up (and he would do it again in a heartbeat) but he is trying to right the wrong. Sully just went to Sam for help when his friends started dying. He wasn't trying to right the wrong for killing Reese's sister. He didn't know that was the cause. But he was willing to sacrifice himself if that is what it took. Both Sam and Dean are willing to do the same....always have been.

I agree Dean isn't willing to sacrifice Sam to defeat the Darkness but he might have to let Sam "do what he does" to find out what his visions mean.
# Fazzie 2015-12-04 13:49
No show can't win.

The question with regard to Sam and the cage is it the right thing to do to right that wrong. Can it make things worse. Is it God or the devil. Sully went to the back office because he didn't want to hurt anyone else, he worked with others to help their kids. Then they got hurt and it turned out the kid he left behind when he decided to go to the back office to prevent hurting anyone else hurt others because Sully had left her in pain. Sully's action to try and mitigate his actions in turn lead to others getting hurt. He went to Sam and Dean for help without knowing it was Reese but in doing so he put Sam and Dean in the line of fire - Reese knocked Dean out, she threatened Sam with a knife to hurt Sully. You can't have foresight to know how things turn out but in hindsight it can be argued that Sully trying to not hurt kids after Audrey meant that he abandoned Reese which wasn't living to the mantle of 'whatever the kid needs' and there was a price for that which Reese, Sparkle, Nikki and their kids paid as did Weems and Dean.

As for Dean letting Sam 'do what he does' to find out what his visions mean, if it came down to it is there anything really stopping Sam from doing so outside himself?
# cheryl42 2015-12-04 18:31
No Sam doesn't need Dean's permission and he never has. But Sam has some self doubt right now. He is trying to run everything he can by Dean in order to come to the right (or as right as possible) solution. It looks like from the trailer for next week the brothers are together when they talk to Crowley. Dean has been trying to be as on board with Sam as he can right now because after his reckless decision to take on the MOC he has some serious self doubt as well. Both brothers have been shaken by what has happened and their respective roles. Praise the Lord they aren't taking it out on each other. That makes me a very happy fangirl.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-04 12:40
Sam doesn't need redemption, but for some deangirls, only for some, mind you, saving the world and self-sacrificin g will never be enough for Sam to redeem himself and they will wait for that again and again
# Fazzie 2015-12-04 13:57
For a lot of Dean girls it isn't the redemption they are waiting for it is sort of the talk Sam has with Sully. We've seen it with other characters but there are times we don't see it with Sam and have it stick.

Sam and Benny is one - we get Sam saying to Dean he now gets Benny but we never saw Sam say it to Benny, the person Sam actually hurt. Or we tend to get Sam admitting he was wrong then there is a turn around later on to say that he only did so because Dean did something to him or a big gesture, it gives rise to questions about what the writers are trying to say about Sam's motivation. With the trials did he take them on to make Dean see the light at the end of the tunnel or did he take them on because he wanted to prove to Dean he was capable and was as good as a vampire and angel who Dean seemed to trust more than Sam because Sam had hurt him. A simple conversation that sticks is what a lot of Dean girls are wanting. It also gives rise to why a lot of Sam girls complain about Dean's attitude when it comes to Sam. With Sully you got the guy who was always there for Sam - he's there for Sam, how is Sam doing, how is Sam feeling and Dean comparatively is a jerk. But Sully#s whole purpose is to be there for his kids, Sam is one of them. But Dean shouldn't be simply there for Sam, he is a person in his own right, bad moods, reactions, motivations, the right to call what he processes as BS out, so when you have the writer's chop and change Sam's motivation speeches it doesn't help Dean's attitude - you have Sam admit he drank blood, he's sorry about that and going with Ruby and letting out Lucifer which hurt Dean to the point they had to build trust and then he tells Dean he only did it because Dean made him feel less powerful, well sorry a person would turn round and continually say 'you did it, I didn't force you. You chose your own actions' Dean sounds like a jerk but actually when you look at it like that he is defending himself and calling out what he sees as BS, just like Sam is allowed to do with him.

With Amy, 'She's my friend.' Dean 'she killed, I killed her, you chose your friends badly' Sam with Benny 'You killed my friend so I might kill yours' Dean ' Your friend killed, you let her go, I cleaned up your mess and my friend knows if he steps out of line I'll end him. You are only saying this because you are pissed at me anyway' . Dean may come off as a jerk but the chopping and changing of how the writing presents Sam's motivations doesn't help as they have Sam present them in big speeches or gestures to redeem or explain or for dramatic flare which would probably give a whole 'F off' reaction from the person they've don't a 180 on, rather than a simple conversation like they had with Sully and Sam which gave more of Sam's thought process than any dramatic moment has done in a long time.
disgrutled viewer
# disgrutled viewer 2015-12-04 16:35
OK, Fazzie, I underlined that I was talking only about som:)e deangirls, not all, so don't take that personally. I understand, that you as a deangirl follow Dean more closely than Sam, that's why some of Sam's motivations may escape you, and that's all right. I guess it's natural. We all follow more closely the character we are interested more in. Allow me to answer some of the points you raised. First of all, the thing why I love this show is that nobody is perfect and nobody is right or wrong there. Everybody has their own points.
1. About Amy and Benny. Why do think Amy was introduced in the show? To show that Sam was unable to make right decisions? But the following episodes showed that Sam was efficient and was able to take right decisions. Or to show that Dean was in serious crisis, bitter and in a way callous after Lisa and Ben's loss and Cas's betrayal and apparent death? And the following episodes showed us exactly that, he bacame sloppy at hunts, he became obssessed with his revenge to Dick Roman. We don't know if Amy will keep her promise not to kill anymore and will never know, but that not the point. The point was to show us the mindset of the two main characters: one is ready to show mercy and give a second chance judging by his previous knowledge that Amy was not a killer, in part because he never took pleasure in killings, even monsters, partly because he learnt from his own experience that everybody may slip, the other after Cas's betrayal just was unable to trust anybody and sought revenge and somebody to lash out on. Should Dean trust Sam's judgment? Certainly he should.
And why do you think we were shown almost identical situation with Benny, Benny also killed and killed much more than Amy, but he promised that he would never do it again, Dean, basing on his previous knoledge let him out of the Purgatory. Should Sam trust Dean's judgment? Certainly he should. Why didn't he? Maybe because Dean convinced him that any monster shouldn't be trusted in case with Amy? Never thought about that? And it never was like you said: "I will kill your friend, because you killed mine". If it was Sam simply would go and kill. It never happened. What really happened he didn't trust Benny and decided to check himself. Dean in case with Amy didn't do that. What Sam said was, if I find out that Benny kills again, I will kill him. That's why he put Martin to follow Benny, just to check out. I don't think that Sam would be against the similar approach towards Amy. If Dean put somebody to follow Amy to check if she kills again, there wouldn't be any objections from Sam. And Carver set up the almost identical situation not to show, that whatever Dean does he is always right, and whatever Sam does it is always wrong. Even if they do the same things. That would be preposterous. He set up the situation with Benny for Dean to understand that he was wrong with Amy, that he should have trusted his brother and not all monsters are evil. If you remember the whole season 8 was about trust of brothers to each other.
2. Trials. Sam took the trials because 1. he thought that closing the Gate of Hell was very important and worth risking his own life. 2. He understood that for Dean it was a suicidal mission, but he himself would try to survive, if that was possible. 3. He was deeply hurt that Dean thought about him as an unworthy brother and tried to prove otherwise.
Everything I wrote about was said and shown in the show, if to follow two brothers, not only one.
As for Dean was hurt because Sam didn't look for him doesn't show Dean in good light because he also didn't look for Sam when he was in the cage. Amd don't tell me, that Dean "read books", if you don't think that reading books is a real feat for Dean.And it was all right, I don't judge both of them in these situations, they are only humans, there's so much they can do. I can explain Dean's lashing out for Sam for not looking by his PTSD after Purgatory.
You in your previous post made an impression, that you think that the show is about the always right older brother and always wrong younger. I'm sorry if I misunderstood you.
# Fazzie 2015-12-04 17:18
Disgruntled, I get the motivations they are trying to show me for Sam. I just don't interpret them as you do. This thanks to the writing is how I interpret it and I am not taking it personally.

1) Amy in season 7 was introduced for two reasons - to sow discard and to try and blur the sympathy line. The boys kill monsters they find that killed, she killed and not out self defence. Why exactly should she be trusted? because she shared two hours with Sam? Or because she said she was doing it for her boy? Or because she looked like a soccer mom. If a soccar mom kills people she deems less worth of life to save her child, say to get an organ, we'd still put her in jail so for me that is out even if she said she wouldn't do it again. I have no guarantee that she wouldn't if her boy got sick again.

Dean killing her after saying to Sam he wouldn't is wrong, he lied. But that doesn't mean Amy was in any different category than any other monster they had ended and she wasn't killed because Dean needed to work out his feeling about losing Cas but because she killed and he didn't tell Sam because he was worried about Sam's mental state at that point. Why, because Sam at that point is having hallucinations - it isn't long since Dean had to talk Sam out from killing himself because Lucifer told him too. So really with that why should Dean trust Sam's perception of reality. But then Sam will on occasion use Amy to shut down conversation - killing Dean's daughter, he panicked fine I can handle that even though at that point Emma hadn't killed and Dean wasn't in immediate danger. Sam's response to Dean say she was his daughter, parroting what Dean said about Amy, to shut down the conversation, which was a shitty thing to do. When they were having discussions about Benny, Amy got mentioned by Sam more than Ruby who would have been a more consistent comparison. In bringing up Amy it became more Sam saying 'you didn't trust me and you killed my friend, how does it feel I don't trust you' not that he felt Dean may have tunnel vision on Benny.

Benny, was also introduced to sow discord, but also to hit home a PTSD storyline. The only reason Dean trusted him was the fact he had his back in purgatory for so long, as for the deaths you could say he had done his time in purgatory and Dean gave him terms about what would happen if he got caught killing unlike Amy who Sam just seemed to go 'okay' when she promised not to do it again. In fact there is as much reason to believe Benny as there was Amy but many Sam girls didn't and the only two reasons why I could see was one Sam wasn't say trust him and the other was he was a hulking big guy and not Kaylee but I see many saying Dean shouldn't have killed her while saying Benny deserved to have been toast when first introduced. And Sam didn't look, he didn't even make a half hearted attempt, which according to you Dean's looking through books was, we don't know what books, where he got them or the people he came into contact with to get them as he didn't go through Bobby. But still Dean did something after promising not to, like Sam mentioning the cage and just mentioning to Dean every once in a while for Dean to cut him off but not following through until now when in truth Dean couldn't really have stopped him. That obviously hurt Dean, who was processing purgatory. Sam was also angry that Dean wasn't getting his side, the equvialent of which is the family who is left at home when a solider goes to war and is too scared to pick up a paper or answer a phone incase it is bad news then the solider comes back and doesn't get how the family functioned without them. That is how Sam suffered but because Dean is in a bad place, pissed at him and suffering PTSD he shares with someone that Sam doesn't know. Guess what, Sam takes out his frustration at Dean on Benny. It is like a family taking their frustrations on another vet who may be a bit of a low life because the returned solider would talk to him rather than them. Doesn't make it right especially in the light of Sam making a bigger deal about a text than Martin's death because Sam in Torn and Frayed keeps things on himself rather than going ape about a proven Benny kill - he went on about a text, didn't demand Benny's scalp because he was right but told Dean to chose, like Sam was his wife and Benny was his mistress. Any words that Sam said about Benny being shifty and spinning Dean a line became BS at the moment the writers had Sam say that. It becomes all about Sam not liking that Dean could share with someone he didn't know.

3) the trial - firstly Sam said he was taking on the trials to survive them as well as closing the gates because Dean was looking at it like a suicide mission. Why was Dean looking at it like that - Dean has low self esteem and hates himself, has just suffered a traumatic period of continuous conflict and has been cut off from one of the two people who got that. However in Scarifice Sam's reasoning is that he's going to close the gates to show Dean he is good enough, as good as Benny as Cas and that Dean can trust him to follow through and be good enough after all his screw ups. Kind of cuts the legs out from showing Dean the light at the end of the tunnel and makes it more he took on the trials because he felt not as good as Dean's other friends and felt guilty about how Dean felt - so what is it how he felt he wasn't good enough in Dean's eyes or because he wanted to not have his brother go nihilistic when it may not be warranted.

The problem I and a lot of Dean girls have isn't that we hate Sam it is the flip flopping of Sam's motivations and because the tend to put Sam's more self centred ones second so give the impression it was about Sam wants in the first place even when the first motivation given wasn't about that. If they didn't and kept it to simple conversations like Sam and Sully or had consistency like Dean's hard on about getting Dick Roman after Bobby's death then many Dean girls would get Sam more. Instead we get speeches and then big dramatic moments which makes us question Sam's true motives and get Dean telling him he is out of line which gets Sam girls backs up but for me is perfectly understandable if someone does a 180 on you in a tense situation. It isn't about wanting the guys perfect in any sense of the word.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-04 18:00
Oh, no. I think now, that I understood your first post right. Thank you. You meant exactly what you said. Especially I like your implication about Sam being self-centerd, because he selfishly self-sacrificed himself, yeah selfishly took upon himself the pleasure to feel getting his spine ripped out through his mouth for all eternity, didn't let the brother to feel the pleasure. Thank you for clearing up your position. No, it's not Samhatred, it only looks and sounds exactly like that.
# Fazzie 2015-12-04 18:09
And it sounds exactly like you are taking the hump when I'm trying to explain my reasoning thanks to the writing because you don't like what I'm saying so are twisting it to fit your idea that I'm taking pot shots at Sam when you know I'm not. Seems to me what you want is a fight but again like having another Sam redemption arc I don't think that is necessary.
# anonymousN 2015-12-05 05:39
# anonymousN 2015-12-05 05:39
not here later on.
# cheryl42 2015-12-04 18:44
As far as the trials go could it be that Sam had more than one motivation for closing the gates. To prevent Dean from committing suicide and to redeem himself to Dean? Sam had already lost Dean a couple of times and was unable to save him. It seemed to me that Sam wasn't going to risk losing Dean again and he was trying to prove to Dean that he wasn't a screw up, that he could be trusted as much as Cas (who betrayed Dean on more than one occasion) or Benny (who was the one who rescued Dean from Purgatory). I don't see the flip flopping that some fans see but I, like probably the vast majority of SPN fans don't pit one brother against the other. It kind of makes for unpleasant viewing IMHO and misses the whole point of the show. Again IMHO.
# Fazzie 2015-12-05 01:25
I can get behind Sam wanting to do both if they hadn't had put the stuff about Sam not wanting to screw up and wanting to be as trusted as Cas and Benny all in the second motivation dump while not mentioning he is doing it because he didn't want Dean to die again. Then none of that is mentioned again! I get they are guys and don't share as much but it makes me feel like I am pissing in the wind a bit of knowing what is going on in Sam's head - 2 motivation speeches, two times he is confessing to Dean but what was more of a big deal, saving Dean from himself or because Dean could turn to Cas and Benny and not him or both because he was in tears and falling apart and completely raw, intense, spilling his guts in a way that gets out his inner demons and pain when confessing that second part in terms of 'you put them before me and that hurts' while Sam himself was ready to die stating he he is also doing the trials to show he can be trusted.

In dramatic terms that kind of makes the impact of that the second motivation dump much more important in Sam's motivations than the first speech where Sam was upright, strong and came across confident, caring and the scene was actually cathartic to both parties. It is a crappy writing trick that allows me to see flip flopping, allows me to question Sam motives. And I am saying that especially seeing how neither brother is saying that 2nd motivation dump played any part in Dean helping Gadreel in possessing Sam. Which happened straight after so could be argued that in doing so Dean was trying to put Sam first as he said he always would do in that church when talking Sam down even if it was a cock eyed stupid way of doing so. But no that reasoning is never really mentioned even though a raw confessional Sam means Dean has to talk him down and the emphasis is on him to stop his brother feeling that way, because instead we get the purge and Sam tells Dean he wouldn't fight Dean's death if it came to a similar situation, which would make Sam look like a cold git if his confession did play a major part in Dean's reasoning and he is saying he wouldn't do something to help Dean if he was in the same boat. We don't get Sam's hands covered in blood till much later and the 'I lied' as a resolution between Sam and Dean until Dean is stabbed through the heart, but the damage is done by then. Then when brought up again as those words are still hurting Dean, it is Charlie not Dean he explains his reasoning too? Sure in Brother's Keeper Sam says Dean is twisting his words but at points I can understand how Dean got to that point because of the way they present Sam's motivations and he resolves things by talking it out calmly with other people rather than the sodding person he needs to resolve things with and it is simply drawn out to give dramatic flare and then tie into a sodding Sam needs to redeem himself bit, which now is tired.

But I liked the Sully conversation, cathartic for both Sam and Sully and showed complexity of motivation and it is Sully Sam needs to resolve things with. Got me inside Sam's head without me waiting for the intense on the ledge scene that confuses the issues which usually follows then nothing is really said about it between the parties that need to resolve what is being said and allows Sam's character to move on with plot. We need more of that.
# cheryl42 2015-12-05 04:37
If you are wanting heart to heart dialog between the brothers evidently that is coming according to Jensen. Sam couldn't talk to Dean about his fears if he ever wants Dean to be on board with going to the cage. Dean already is dead set against it. There wouldn't be a chance in hell Dean would allow it if he knew just how freaked Sam was. So how do we as an audience find out how scared Sam is? Sam talks to a trusted friend. That was a brilliant way for us to see how Sam is feeling.
As far as S8 goes Sam's story was told that way for a reason. Dean was supposed to be shocked at how much guilt Sam was carrying. It wouldn't have been very shocking if they had hashed out everything already. It kind of would have lessened the impact of the church scene. And they really didn't get a chance to hash out any other issues directly afterwards because you know angel possession, MOC, demon Dean and all.
# Fazzie 2015-12-05 10:54
A proper conversation is required about each culpablity is required and that requires all aspects of culpability from both. No deflections, no justifications.

As for Sam's story going the way it did in season 8, yes it went that way to shock Dean, but the phrasing pushed the way to deal with it onto Dean, Dean who was still suffering PTSD, Dean who was trying to hold everyone else together, taking care of both Cas and Sam during their various quests. But then they pulled back from saying that speech had a direct effect on Dean's reasoning for the angel possession - why to keep the angst going on the reveal and more importantly to stop Sam look like a total git when he said those words in the purge because if they had mentioned the church again and then have him say he wouldn't be that cut up if Dean died that is what he would have come away looking like because he would be saying he expects Dean to make him happy but will not go to the same lengths for Dean. Dean spirals with the mark and Sam still holds onto the words and then it takes going off with Crowley for him to try and address his and Dean's relationship in a half arsed way??? And we get 'I lied' and then he talks to Charlie. Talks to Cas and not to Dean??

We need to have Sam say something equivalent to his conversation with Sully to Dean so Dean can let go of his hangups about his relationship with Sam and we get inside Sam's head. It would mean he would be less likely to freak out when it is vocalised that Sam is as freaked out as Dean knows he is but he is going to go through with talking to Lucifer, which in fact Dean isn't physically stopped Sam doing as amply shown last season when Sam kept going off behind Dean's back to get rid of the mark.
# cheryl42 2015-12-05 13:35
I think the angel possession was told very well. I didn't misunderstand Dean's motivations in the slightest. This has been pounded into our viewing for going on 11 years now. Dean has and will save Sam no matter the cost. This is something that was addressed in the first episode this season btw. Dean will not let Sam die if he can do something about it. Sam, up until S10 finale has never had that same opportunity (I guess you would have to ask the various showrunners about that). In the second half of S8 there was no indication that Dean was suffering from any after affects of his stint in Purgatory. Jensen's performance seemed very clear. He wasn't able to go through the trials but he was going to make dam sure that Sam survived them. I guess I am not sure what kind of rehash is needed to satisfy Dean fans. Dean isn't one to wallow in self pity and he certainly isn't going to entertain any one else bringing it up. Dean enjoyed torturing souls in hell. Dean loved his year in Purgatory. Dean was on edge and jumpy for a while at the beginning of S8 but he wasn't suicidal (maybe a little homicidal). But being a strong man of great character he dealt with it. And he wasn't the one that failed his brother. Sam was, again. I guess I am not sure what needs to be said. What does the show need to acknowledge The writing for Dean (our POV character) seems consistent with his character through the years. I will admit the whole MOC, demon Dean story line was kind of a bust. But I think mostly because the POV didn't shift to Sam. We lost the narrator of the show and it just turned into a mess.
# percysowner 2015-12-05 14:11
[code type="xml"]I will admit the whole MOC, demon Dean story line was kind of a bust. But I think mostly because the POV didn't shift to Sam. We lost the narrator of the show and it just turned into a mess.

That plus the facts 1) that they wanted the 200th episode to be sweetness and light so they had to get Dean de-demonized far to quickly, and 2) they refused to let Dean do anything irredeemable even as a demon IMHO. Both helped make that story a lot less powerful than it should have been.
# cheryl42 2015-12-05 14:15
Agreed. Dean needed to be the most powerful force of evil that ever walked the earth. Not a sleazy barfly. So disappointing.
# Fazzie 2015-12-05 16:41
In the second half of S8 there was no indication that Dean was suffering from any after affects of his stint in Purgatory. Jensen's performance seemed very clear. He wasn't able to go through the trials but he was going to make dam sure that Sam survived them

Was it? That Sam took on the trials and all Dean's previous symptoms went away? The taking care of Sam went to extreme lengths in season 8. The Samwise comment, the cooking, nurse maiding. Sure Dean wasn't going to let Sam die but the length he went too was extreme even for Dean - killing Benny to help Sam, going after Henry the way he did. He was putting his depression and anxiety into something because as you said Dean isn't one to wallow. As you said Dean's motivation were always clear it is Sam but as I said Sam's speech in the church pushed the ball into Dean' court in season 9 - his next move Gadreel and to keep his mouth shut because it might hurt Sam, something neither Sam or Dean addresses, how Sam's confession of guilt played into Dean trying to save him in that moment. But that doesn't mean Dean's underlying mental problem has gone away, it manifests later on with the whole mark of Cain because his self loathing and self hate and feeling better when attacking a problem were all things that made him take on the thing and that simply didn't come from him being angry at Gadreel. But Sam and Cas were too busy to really deal with their dramas to properly deal with Dean and they seemed to take precedent, then in season 9 Sam's angry and Cas is busy they note the mark but don't go into the same overdrive they go into in season 10 but both note it is bad but do not that much on getting the thing off Dean's arm comparatively speaking But it harsh on all three characters it took Dean dying and disappearing for them to do change their approach on that.

And yes it lost its narrator when Dean became a demon, it shows a lot that having Sam and Cas as lead POV meant it floundered, if we had more of demon Dean they possibly could have given to more time to show Sam and Cas getting use to no Dean and giving them stronger POV. It would help with what some problems I have with the way they write Sam's motivations because he'd actually be more focused. In fact having Dean, one of the most powerful demons ever not playing the power game and just wanting to have fun because he has no responsibilitie s as a demon and that could have been better utilised, him becoming neither help or hindrance but a force everyone feared simply because they didn't know if that was all he was going to do or not. But instead of building on that or trying that we got that stupid 200th episode!
# cheryl42 2015-12-05 17:32
All I can say is Holy Crap! Both of these brothers have had enough horrible things happen to them they both should be in a locked ward for the rest of their lives. The emotional wringer they have gone through has shaped every decision they have made since S1 ep1. I am not sure what your point is. Should Sam be ok after 100's of years being tortured by two arc angels with no out like Dean got? Should Sam be ok after finding out that Dean shoved an angel up his ass that resulted in the murder of Kevin? Neither one of these brothers corners the market in severe emotional damage. But they pick themselves up an keep going don't they. They are the hero's of the story after all.

In order for Sam to have had the POV he would have actually have had to have the POV. Sam spent most of his time knocked out or tied up. Cas was mostly MIA. The writers evidently were unable or unwilling to shift the story telling to a different format. The only time that Sam even had a hint of a POV was in the last 6 episodes of S10. That was when the season started to make some sense (maybe because that was when Andrew Dabb was promoted to head writer with the departure of Glass and probably why this season is so much more cohesive than the previous 2 seasons).
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-05 18:59
Perfectly stated Cheryl!
# BoGirle 2015-12-05 19:56
Absolutely Cheryl! Agreed! I, for one was not at all sorry to see Adam "I idolize Dean Winchester's every move" Glass go. And now with Bob Singer stepping back things seem downright logical in the story telling department. There are TWO brother's again, TWO heroes again, TWO POV's again. I couldn't be more happy.
# Alice 2015-12-06 23:17
A proper conversation is required about each culpablity is required and that requires all aspects of culpability from both. No deflections, no justifications.
Yeah, but if you told that to a writer, you would be taking away their entire device for creating dramatic tension between the brothers every week! :)

Awesome and very interesting dialogue in this thread. I've enjoyed reading this immensely. To put in my two cents, I think the point is that Sam and Dean at the end of the day don't get each other, at least at a deeply personal level. They suck at reading signs when it comes to each other. That happens in a lot of relationships when you're in such close quarters for so long. They're brothers who love each other and are willing to forego actions, not to mention do anything to save the other, but they really don't know what the other is thinking a lot of the time. The issue I've had with the writing for Sam is since the beginning they've had him internalize everything so we don't know what he's thinking or feeling until he has conversations like he did with Sully. Those don't happen often. For example, I didn't feel like I got a real honest to goodness glimpse at Sam until "Mystery Spot" came along, and that middle of season three!

So think about it, if viewers have trouble understanding Sam and his motivations, wouldn't it be fair to say that Dean has trouble as well? Judging by the conversation at the end of "Sacrifice" Sam didn't get what Dean was thinking and it took being on the brink of death for Dean to come clean. He thought Dean believed he was a disappointment because Dean threw all those passive-aggress ive comments his way about not looking for him. That's not a knock on Dean at all, it's just that Dean didn't get what Sam was thinking or feeling and that those words had an the impact they did. Ditto with Sam's "I lied" comment at the end of season nine (for the record though, I think the writers really butchered Sam's character in season nine). Dean mistook those words in "The Purge" as being more than Sam just feeling hurt and angry at the time. Is that Sam's fault or Dean's fault? Both. Communication is a two way street.

That would be interesting, if one conversation could wipe the slate clean, but there is too much history. Too many actions done that rub one person or another the wrong way. If fans have really good memories, then Sam and Dean do as well. I don't think Sam can do anything that will win over Dean fans, and Dean can't do anything to win over Sam fans. We have to accept both brothers the way they are and go from there, no matter how flawed they are (or the writing, which has been atrocious at times). That's my approach anyway.
# cheryl42 2015-12-06 23:26
Thank you Alice. I have a hard time articulating what I mean and you said it perfectly. These brothers may love each other but they don't always read each other. That does set up huge misunderstandin gs that tend to lead them into making reckless decisions. Sacrifice and MOC type decisions. I hope they talk soon before the runaway train turns into a giant train wreck.
# AlyCat22 2015-12-07 01:31
A train metaphor to go with all our ominous train whistles and noises!!! Ahhhhh!!!!
# LEAH 2015-12-06 23:45
I agree with much of what you say here. I do think there are many fans of Sam who also love and understand Dean, flaws and all. The same for Dean fans such as myself who always understand and love Sam. But there are many who are so protective of their preferred character that they can't give the other a fair shake sometimes. I don't think some fans will ever accept them both.
# Lilah_Kane 2015-12-07 08:36
Agreed Leah x 1 billion.

- Lilah
# AlyCat22 2015-12-07 01:29
It's funny how they function like a well oiled machine when it comes to hunting, so in tune with the others movements... and yet can be so lost when it comes to basic conversation between them.
# Alice 2015-12-06 22:11
You know, I need to read up on some of those train whistle theories. What does that mean? I'm sure it's intentional, but I'm not sure of the reason. I'm usually good at picking up on clues but they got me on that one!

I'm very curious where they are going with this with Lucifer, because I honestly have no clue. I'm assuming Lucifer wants out of the cage. I'm hoping this episode will have some big reveal, but at the same token, we know who's writing it. It could end up leaving us on a big "WTF?" tangent for six weeks. We'll see!
# AlyCat22 2015-12-07 01:55
So far the train whistle/noises. ..have appeared in various ways in Baby, Our Little World, Plush and Just My Imagination. Not in Form and Void, The Bad Seed or Thin Lizzie that I could determine. Our Little World started out with the girls hanging out at the railroad tracks before Amara approaches them. And Jerry Waneck built a railroad car for an episode as well. So far the only episode I haven't listened to is Out of the Darkness but honestly I don't remember hearing a train whistle in that at all. I could wrong tho so I will rewatch and advise. So far it looks like the first time it appeared was indeed in Baby.
# Lilah_Kane 2015-12-07 03:03
Copied here: (Train discussion) Don't know how big of spoiler this is so look away if you want!


People have been talking if the train means something and I found the tweet that I remembered about it.

Jerry Wanek @JerryWanek 10:41 AM - 11 Nov 2015 Yes we "built" a train for tonight's EP

People have been talking what does it mean and from this bts shot it seems to mean something. A game that I have played and have introduced "Silent Hill" had similar sound effect in it. It has Air Raid Siren that starts to play and the world in it literally turns to hell. That siren means death, very bad things and monsters. That makes me wonder what the train sound does mean. But I am wondering have they taken some ideas from the scariest game out there. In same game there was also cat in a locker scene like there was in yellow fever.

Disturbing images in the clips so be warned. It is fairly scary horror game/movie.

From the movie:




From the first game:


When I played the game a lot I actually started to hear that siren in school. Sound memory in ears. It didn't help that one of the more used horror places in the game was a school..........

- Lilah
# AlyCat22 2015-12-07 03:34
That's the shot I was thinking about. Thanks! I can't figure out what episode it appeared in tho?
# Lilah_Kane 2015-12-07 03:54
I think Cheryl said that would have been in "Our Little World" So luckily no spoilers! :)

- Lilah
# cheryl42 2015-12-07 03:58
Our Little World? Wasn't that where Cas and Metatron were in the alley? Cas jumped down from the box car? Now I'll have to go back and look.
# Lilah_Kane 2015-12-07 06:10
Aye, they ended up in that warehouse so I think that is the place you described?

- Lilah
# LEAH 2015-12-04 12:24
Although I enjoyed this episode I really don't enjoy the way John's character has been altered (in my mind) since the early seasons. John was shown to be regimented and stern back then but not abusive or neglectful. He left the boys alone (which I hated) but Dean had a weapon and knew how to use it. He left Sam at various trusted friends. Leaving an unprotected Sam completely alone while he and Dean go off on a hunt seems so OOC for the John I saw in the early seasons. He was all about protecting his boys not leaving them vulnerable to what he knew was out there. Maybe Sam was armed but that in and of itself seems neglectful. Having young Sam jump on a bus to join them? IDK, it just bothered me as a fan and as a mother.

I think Dean is very fearful this season. He is freaked out that the Darkness seems to have a hold on him in some way that he doesn't understand. He is not completely in control and he knows it. We all know that Dean's feels the need to be in control. He won't mention it to Sam because he never wants to appear weak to Sam. PLUS now Sam is having visions which always tweaks Dean out and is talking about going back to the cage. Hell no! Like Samandean mentioned, visions have often lead to bad things. No way would Dean be onboard with that so he won't even entertain the idea and brushes Sam off. It's not because he doesn't love Sam it's because he does and is worried about him. Having an imaginary childhood friend pop in didn't do anything to ease his worries IMO. But he did come around. He will come around if Sam needs him for support for what's coming also. I do feel that they will be united.
# percysowner 2015-12-04 18:20
I disagree about John being portrayed positively in earlier seasons. My low opinion of John started with Something Wicked when John, who was hunting a creature that fed on children and focused on siblings, left his two young children alone to fend for themselves. When he came back and dinged Dean for not taking proper care of the Impala, that was just icing on the cake. To me, the later season presentations of John have nothing on Something Wicked. In fact, having seen Young John, who explicitly said that he thought John's parenting was wrong in TSRTS, and finding out that John felt that Henry abandoned him I have more sympathy for John than I did in season one. The Kripke years, including season one, were full of examples of John giving into his obsession to find "the thing that killed Mary" at the expense of taking care of his kids. This just seems like an extension of that motif.
# LEAH 2015-12-04 19:16
My point wasn't that he was a good father. I think he was a pretty shoddy father in fact. I do think he was revenge driven and obsessed and I hated that he left those boys alone. But even at that he seemed to be concerned for their safety. I also hated how hard he was on Dean for well, just about almost everything. I just don't believe John would leave Sam unprotected in a motel by himself and then tell Sam to hop on a bus and meet them. Nor do I think he physically abused either one of them as seemed to be implied by the writers in recent years. Anyway he'd have never won Father of the Year.
# percysowner 2015-12-05 00:47
I do agree that John was not physically abusive. Right now, the only time I remember they really came close to saying he was was in About A Boy and I actually took that as Sonny thinking John was abusive when Dean said he was hurt fighting a werewolf but Dean actually was hurt fighting a werewolf. They also had Dean and Sam telling Cas that John was a great dad in Carver's reign, although I'm drawing a blank on the episode. Just that Dean talked about John finding him somewhere he didn't belong and telling him that John was his father not his friend? So they haven't totally trashed John.

They wanted to tell the imaginary friend story and they wanted to tie it to Sam wanting to join Dean and John hunting and hurting Sully's feelings. That gave them a really small window of time. It had to be after Sam found out about John hunting, but he couldn't be too old to have an imaginary friend. So they erred on the side of John leaving him alone and then telling him to get on a bus to come to the hunt. It was clunky. They should have dropped a "the person John asked to watch Sam got sick so Sam was alone" line and maybe it's there in an outtake. Certainly, in AAB when John finds an older Sam alone because Dean is in jail, he takes Sam to Bobby's. It's really inconsistent about how neglectful or not John was.
# LEAH 2015-12-05 02:37
I agree it was very clunky. Your scenario or something similar would have been so much better.
# BoGirle 2015-12-05 07:48
I agree Leah that John's character has taken some serious hits in recent years. John WAS shown to always want to keep his boys close, especially Sam who its been insinuated that John knew that something was up regarding him. But now we have a John who basically abandons his son to a boys home to teach him a lesson, separating him from his younger brother and then lying to that younger brother allowing him to think that Dean was "missing" and maybe dead. And then he leaves a nine year old all alone? For how long? Days? Weeks? To be possibly at the mercy of any and all supernatural creatures who may have been interested in him? To the point that another supernatural creature, the Zanna, thought he was in danger enough to need an imaginary friend and the protection that the Zanna provide? I'm not buying it either. And JDM has on several occasions complained about how much John Winchester has been trashed over the years. I think he wants to come back to the show to rescue his character.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-04 12:39
I like this review so much, Alice, I completely agree with almost anything. Especially with this: How incredibly cathartic that talk had to be for Sam. This episode remedied a long standing complaint among a few “Supernatural” fans, Sam has never had a friend to talk to, especially when Dean won’t listen.
It's a bitter irony that it was a friend from distant times who said that Sam is a hero who saved the world, not Dean.
And I don't agree that something is off with Dean, he always behaves like this, the only difference is that there is a stark difference between Sully's attitude to Sam and Dean's attitude to Sam in this episode. It was just put in one episode, that's why it so noticeable. But Dean always behaves like that to Sam, it's from him Sam always hears how many times he messed up and how many times he let his older brother down. Dean never admitted Sam's role in saving the world, but again and again underlined his role in starting the Apocalypse. It's always somebody else who recognises Sam for what he really is like Death, Bobby and now Sully.
# Sakii 2015-12-04 14:14
Yeah. Dean undermining Sam has been my problem with Dean the entire 11 years. I like Dean as Dean, but he's always been 'passenger shuts his piehole' with Dean as the ONLY acceptable driver and Sam rarely getting input on the pick the music.

Sam has had some fantastic ideas and insights and shouldn't have to fight just to get himself heard. Especially since Dean screws up so much himself.
(Exactly WHO was the righteous man who broke the first seal??? That was the person the really set the Apocalypse in motion.)
I don't hear Sam hammering on that tidbit over and over.

Still, being the younger sibling myself, it took years for me to get my older sibs to stop seeing me as the tagalong, but eventually realized I have my own strengths that they can come to for advice.
I figure if my bullheaded sibs can grow up and see me as an equal, Dean should be further along than he is.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-04 15:09
I'm an older sibling, but if treated my sister like Dean treats Sam, I would lose all self-respect. My sister is wonderful, strong and independent, I may suggest her a piece of advice, but I always respect her decisions, if she follow them or not :)
Exactly WHO was the righteous man who broke the first seal??? That was the person the really set the Apocalypse in motion
My thoughts exactly, but he, in contrast to Sam never told about his part to anybody but Sam, so everybody else blames only Sam, it's only Sam who tells everybody about his mistakes, and this episode is just another example of it. What strikes me, though, is that some viewers blame Sam for starting the Apocalipse just because Dean and other characters told so, though they, in contrast with characters of the show have the full information. I don't know why, may be because it's more comfortable to be told what is right than decide for themselves? Some people don't even know if going to the cage is the right decision, they are waiting if Sam gets Dean's approval. So, according to them it is right if Dean approves, and it is wrong if he doesn't? The same action, mind you.
And one more difference between Sam and Dean is that Dean feels guilt about his part, suffered about it then just buried it inside himself, hence his low self-esteem: his screw-ups pile and pile inside until he lashes out on Sam, or some supernatural being to kill, not the best way to cope with guilt, it seems to me. Sam, on the other hand, takes full responsibility for his and not only his screw-ups, it means he does everything possible and impossible to rectify not only his mistakes, but also everybody else's, including Dean's. And he even never considers himself a hero, I was struck in this episode by his genuine surprise when he heard that he is a hero who saved the world.
# LEAH 2015-12-04 16:39
Hi Disgruntled. Brothers tend to relate differently than sisters. Dean has always been this way he is and he is not going to change. He will never be the touchy feely doting big brother. Especially when he is scared himself. That never means he doesn't care. Dean deserves respect for the many times he has been there for Sam and will continue to be there for Sam no matter how curt or grumbly he is. As Sully said sometimes hero's aren't perfect sometimes they are scared. That could apply to Dean as well. No one yet knows if going to the cage will be a good thing or ultimately a bad decision. As far as I am concerned it isn't a matter of whether Dean approves or not he is just concerned about Sam. He has damned good reason to be concerned. It always bothers me when posts start placing blame on one brother or another. Dean tends to push things down true but he also takes blame on himself and tries to right wrongs set into motion by both of them at times. Right now he is NOT blaming Sam for anything. He is afraid for Sam and fearful what this hold is that the Darkness has over him. The thing is Sam knows his brother very well and the defenses he puts up when he is worried or scared. Yet he still loves and respects him. Dean can be a jerk but Sam knows he can count on him and he knows Dean loves him. They both have been through so much tragedy and both deal with it in entirely different ways but they are doing the best they can. It's amazing they aren't in a mental health facility. I don't think either one of them considers themselves heroes. Neither one has an abundance of self esteem. They both feel that they might have caused more harm than good in their actions. That's sad to me. I have NO doubt they will work together to do what they both think is the best course of action.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-04 18:12
Leah, I deeply respect your views and agree with most of them almost completely. Like in this case, agree with most of it almost completely. And if you noticed I never said Dean doesn't care about Sam, and certainly I respect Dean for the many times he has been there for Sam and will continue to be there for Sam. But don't you think that Sam also deserves respect and appreciation? And when you said that right now he is NOT blaming Sam for anything, I also agree, but the problem is the key words here "right now". I hope it will continue that way, but I'm a bit fearful, because as you said: Dean has always been this way he is and he is not going to change.
# LEAH 2015-12-04 19:02
Yes Disgruntled, I do think he deserves respect and appreciation. Absolutely. The thing is I DO think Dean respects and appreciates Sam. He doesn't always show it. What I meant about Dean is that his basic personality is set and it isn't necessarily a bad thing. He will never be a completely easygoing guy, especially when he is worried about something Sam is doing that may cause him harm, but he is a good guy at his core and wants what is best for Sam. Sam knows that. I wouldn't find Dean as interesting if he was the perfect brother. Or Sam for that matter. I think Dean has altered his viewpoint a great deal this year for the most part. They have been working well together despite the worries they both have, they have been talking. They aren't always in agreement, nothing new there. I am encouraged and very thankful to not have all the unpleasant conflict of the recent years myself. Do I wish Dean was more forthcoming about his own worries? Yes.
# sylvia37 2015-12-04 23:54
Leah, I think what you are saying about Dean's feelings and reactions are right. I think he cares a great deal. I just wish that after all these years and all of the mistakes that that have been made from both boys, that he would have realized by now that this exact reaction to Sam's concerns has led to nothing but bad things happening. I remember in the first seasons that it seemed like Dean actually got it. That he realized that when he reacted like John reacted to Sam and didn't listen when Sam had concerns or tried to TELL Sam what to do, Dean would change his tactics and Sam would come around. I'm thinking specifically of when Sam went after John during Scarecrow and after telling Sam he was selfish and trying to make him come with him, he talked to him on the phone and said he understood and softened his stance. Admitting that he needed Sam's help instead of trying to TELL him what to do helped Sam to realize his anger wasn't with Dean and he came back when he realized Dean was in trouble.

In Season 5, Sam told Dean that part of the reason he went off with Ruby because of the way Dean treated him and Dean got it by the end of the episode. But the last several seasons, it's like Dean has regressed. It's like he doesn't get Sam at all. Like he doesn't get that Sam needs to be needed too, that when Dean disregards what he thinks is important, no matter that he knows that Dean is afraid or worried or whatever, if Dean stays in denial, eventually Sam is going to make a move without him. I want to Dean to have that character growth. I, in no way, think that Sam is always right and always says and does the right things, but I think he gets Dean in a way that Dean just doesn't get Sam. And Sam reacts like he always has, by going off on his own. It's a vicious cycle that they can't seem to break.

Of course, in saying all that, I don't know what I'd do if they actually starting acting reasonably all the time. ;)
# LEAH 2015-12-05 02:29
Sylvia, I agree with you to some degree about earlier Dean VS last few years Dean. I often hated the way he was written. Sam too sometimes. This year though I am enjoying the relationship between the brothers for the most part. I agree that there has been a vicious cycle through the years but it doesn't look like there is a wedge being driven between them this time. Yet. They both have things that are weighing heavily. At least they are communicating better for the most part. The Dean of any season would never agree that Sam going to the cage is a great idea. The idea is unfathomable to him. Why on earth would he be on board with anything that he thinks will cause Sam suffering. Even if Sam thinks it's what he needs to do. Dean wants to find another way. He wants to defeat the Darkness with Sam without taking a risky chance with the cage/God/vision option (whatever that is). Yes I agree with you that Sam "gets" Dean more than Dean gets Sam. Sam knows his brother and looks beyond the surface crust. Dean may not be able to be the comfort that Sam needs right now because he is so opposed to the cage visit idea but at the same time Sam knows Dean will ultimately be there for him. There definitely wouldn't be a show if they acted reasonably or got along all the time.;) I think that's why when we do get those rare moments of communication and understanding it is so satisfying.
# BoGirle 2015-12-05 08:16
This is a very nice back and forth ladies! I agree with every one pretty much, if that's possible. ! I guess my biggest problem with the way Dean is handling this current situation is two'd think Dean WOULD go about things differently given the boy's history of disagreements. Dean has to know by now that Sam isn't going to stop simply because Dean says stop. In addition to Scarecrow we have also Sam running off in Hunted, Sam going off with Ruby and Sam using the BoTD'd just last year. Sam does better when Dean is by his side but it's exactly this attitude of Dean's that makes Sam go off on his own so it always kind of roll my eyes when Dean doesn't show any sign that he's learned something. It may be "the way that he is" but he's not a robot, people change and evolve and it's time that Dean do too. And from a dramatic construction standpoint, not having your character's change is dramatically boring and static and unrealistic. To have Sam try in three different episodes to discuss the problem and have Dean continually shut him down is BORING from a purely dramatic basis. I'm not saying Dean needs to change his POV, of course he's not going to be on board with Sam going back to the cage... but would it kill the writers to have the brothers argue about this situation? A back and forth dialog where Sam says why he feels he needs to go and Dean counters with why it's a bad idea that he go? And in the ensuing back and forth they BOTH reluctantly reveal how absolutely terrified they are? How on earth could such a conversation be a bad thing from a dramatic standpoint? But currently Sam says "Cage, Dean" and Dean says "No, Sam." and... scene. Boring.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-05 08:29
To have Sam try in three different episodes to discuss the problem and have Dean continually shut him down is BORING from a purely dramatic basis. I'm not saying Dean needs to change his POV, of course he's not going to be on board with Sam going back to the cage... but would it kill the writers to have the brothers argue about this situation?
I see your point on this E, but in one of her posts Cheryl made a good point about this situation. It actually beautifully set up the conversation between Sam and Sully in which Sam confides his fears. That scene was so outstanding (I actually teared up a little at Sam's fear and anguish) that it was a great payoff to the repeated times that Dean shut Sam down. Would the payoff have been better if that conversation had been between Sam and Dean? Sure, but I just don't see Dean being as gently sensitive as Sully was, because that's just not his personality. I hope Cheryl is correct that there will be a heart-to-heart between the brothers; and it will have that much more dramatic impact after the unsatisfying "conversations" (if you can call them that) that they've had on the subject. I'm enjoying this season so much that I'm actually getting a little complacent and assuming that whatever I'm hoping for will eventually occur onscreen!
# BoGirle 2015-12-05 08:38
Yes, it's true that it did set up the Sam/Sully convo beautifully. That was my favorite part of the episode by far. Jared was sooooooo effective there; I teared up a little to. And yes, Sully was far more sensitive and basically just listened and didn't argue which was what Sam needed. Still though, it kills me that Sam can't go to Dean with these things, be that open and honest with Dean, especially considering that if Dean would allow himself to be that open and vulnerable that Sam would welcome such a thing from his brother with open arms.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-05 08:02
Hi Sylvia. Just me sticking my nose in here. I agree that Dean doesn't always get Sam. And I agree that Dean has behaved so harshly and dictatorially towards Sam (and others) at times that I actually disliked the character- and I truly do love Dean! Most specifically at the beginning of S 8 and the end of S 9, as well as various other times. I also didn't think he was written that flatteringly last year, although for most of the season he was distant rather than harsh. But I honestly see a big difference this year. He actually IS listening to Sam. He is trying to follow Sam's lead with the "saving people" side of things, and he has frequently let Sam make the calls on various decisions and strategies. The one huge exception, of course, is the issue of the visions and the cage, and I won't bother repeating why I understand his reaction and why I even understand why he cuts off any discussion about Sam revisiting the cage. But I'm cutting him an enormous amount of slack on this because unlike other times where he has treated Sam this way (I refer you again to S8 and S9!), this time I believe that Dean's reaction is motivated purely by love and concern for Sam. Would it be better if he would rationally discuss his feelings on this with Sam? Hell yes. But Dean has virtually never been the type of character who will frame his attitudes and actions in terms of his love for Sam. Two huge exceptions were in Trial and Error, and in Sacrifice. As an aside, I've always found it interesting that S8 provides such extremes in Dean's behavior, with episodes in which I wanted to punch him, and episodes in which I wanted to hug him tight. I see so much of the early-season Dean this year, albeit a little older and gruffer. This is the first season in quite awhile where it appears to me that the brothers are more like a team or a partnership than like a dictatorship. I really hope that there is a scene, ala in Sacrifice, where Dean spills his guts to Sam. But I'm not holding my breath.:) I'll just continue enjoying the fact that for the first time in quite awhile, the brothers' relationship bears a strong resemblance to the one I fell in love with.
# sylvia37 2015-12-05 09:57
I'm enjoying this season as well. And you are right that Dean is allowing Sam to take the lead much more often then he has in the last few seasons. It really struck me when Dean asked what Sam wanted to do when they got to the first victims house. I have to admit that I really liked that they had an episode that finally had Dean getting some insight into Sam rather than the other way around and we can only hope that it sticks.

Dean's motivations are completely understandable and anyone who has watched this show knows that he is reacting out of fear and love and guilt and everything else they've been through. But, as I said, having gone through so much together, I wish Dean would have learned by now how his reactions to Sam affect Sam's behavior. I'm not saying that Sam falling back on his own early season behavior of clamming up and going off on his own is the right thing to do, I'm just saying that they both fall into these old patterns again and again and I guess I feel like it's Dean who needs to help make the change. I think that Sam has tried to get through to him that he needs help and support and Dean just lets his fear and denial blind him to it until it's too late.

I can see how the aborted conversations did lead up to that lovely poignant convo between Sam and Sully, but that was also a perfect set up for Dean and Sam to have a more involved conversation afterward. Instead, Dean just kept up his "We'll figure it out" mantra and Sam finally called him on it. I suppose you could say that Sam asking him point blank for another solution was different then what they have been doing. Maybe this episode will spark a change in his attitude from now on. Yikes, this season is making me optimistic and I'm afraid the rug is going to be pulled out from under all of us.
# BoGirle 2015-12-05 20:22
Yes! After that beautiful scene between Sam and Sully and then Dean (somewhat inexplicably IMO) coming to Sully's defense with the Bad Gal I thought that they were setting up a more meaningful conversation between S&D in the car regarding what to do about Sam's visions. Imagine my disappointment that after the scene where Dean stepped up he immediately stepped back again. That was one aspect of the episode that I didn't care for actually; it seemed a bit like a tease. Dean's sudden defense of Sully pretty much made zero sense to me (I mean he was barely civil to Sully or the other Zanna the entire episode) and then his immediate backtracking into stony silence in the car was a bit clumsy writing wise and a disappointment to me. I did appreciate that Sam said pretty much "so what else should we do then?" That at least was new. Dean spent all of last season telling Sam not to use TBofTD and that they'd figure something else out, without offering even one single solution. It bugged the crap out of me that Sam never called Dean out on that, never once said... "what else is there Dean? Just let you continue on the way you are?" No one, not Dean, or Cas, Crowley or even Death offered up a solution that was better than using TBofTD and it drove me nuts that no one mentioned it. I hate it when the obvious is ignored. So, I'm glad Sam spoke up here, I just wish that it had been more of a conversation between them. I am not looking for them to agree, I am looking of them to discuss it.
# YellowEyedSam 2015-12-05 19:05
I really hope that there is a scene, ala in Sacrifice, where Dean spills his guts to Sam. But I'm not holding my breath.:) I'll just continue enjoying the fact that for the first time in quite awhile, the brothers' relationship bears a strong resemblance to the one I fell in love with.
Oh dear. I read the guts part as its literal meaning. I'm sorry! Don't look at me like that :(
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-05 21:49
here in the US we spill our guts figuratively (well, most of us, anyway), but perhaps in the UK you shiv each other? :D
# YellowEyedSam 2015-12-06 05:54
Er yes. We have a few knife crimes..
# anonymousN 2015-12-05 05:59
# Sakii 2015-12-05 10:25
I find it frustrating as a Sam admirer that an episode that highlights him turns into yet another critique of how Dean feels and relates.
# BoGirle 2015-12-05 20:24
Yes, well for some fans even Sam's pain becomes Dean's. :(
# Sakii 2015-12-06 17:32
But-- But--- Aren't they missing half the show?
# BoGirle 2015-12-06 17:52
Heh! Yes, I think so, but you'd have to convince them of that! For some extreme fans the only pain that's out there is Dean's. That's how they take a situation like Sam going back to the cage to face unimaginable horrors and turn it into how afraid Dean is and how much pain Dean is in. Makes no sense to me, but there you have it. :D
# anonymousN 2015-12-05 05:54
And I don't agree that something is off with Dean, he always behaves like this, the only difference is that there is a stark difference between Sully's attitude to Sam and Dean's attitude to Sam in this episode. It was just put in one episode, that's why it so noticeable. But Dean always behaves like that to Sam, it's from him Sam always hears how many times he messed up and how many times he let his older brother down. Dean never admitted Sam's role in saving the world, but again and again underlined his role in starting the Apocalypse. It's always somebody else who recognises Sam for what he really is like Death, Bobby and now Sully.
Agree. I was really glad about what Death told to sam. Oh there were people who wanted it not to be Death, but alas it was.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-04 13:01
Sam: Ever think maybe you’re a hero to me? Sully, one thing I’ve learned, heroes aren’t perfect.
Sully: Sometimes they’re scared. But that just means the thing that they’re facing, its super important. And nobody else is going to go for it because nobody else has got the balls.

Suddenly, the motivation behind Sully’s words is clear. It’s been his point all along. He’s basically telling Sam that it’s okay to be afraid, and running away isn’t the answer. In other words, he can’t do this without Dean.

Alice, I understood this eachange a litlle bit different. Your assumption that he can't do that without Dean seems to follow from nowhere in this dialogue. The meaning of this exchange seems to me to be the following: Yes, you are afraid, but it's important and only you can do it, it's no use to run away from your fears, you should face them and do what has to be done, noone but you can.
# Sakii 2015-12-04 14:16
That's how I read it too.
# Alice 2015-12-06 21:32
Sure, but what did Sam do? He went to Dean and pushed the issue. No, Sully wasn't saying he can't do this without Dean. Sam was. Sorry, I was trying to show how the comments were interpreted by Sam. In retrospect, I probably should have worded the last sentence, "In other words, Sam believes he can't do this without Dean."
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-07 05:32
I understand that, but I don't agree. It's not the first time Sam adressed Dean on the matter, so nothing has changed in his will to share the problem with Dean. He had already done it earlier, he did the same again. What has changed for Sam? It just that this conversation convinced Sam that he should overcome his fear to face Lucifer again. And he said it outright to Dean when he was saying that his lump in his throat shouldn't prevent him from what he had to do. You know, Alice, I'm always for taking Sam at face value, and it has always paid out so far.
I know about your theory, that Sam thinks he is helpless without Dean, but I think you misinterprete his words in BOTD, the meaning of his words were exactly the same as Dean's words when Dean said in Sacrifice, that he couldn't do anything without Sam. They both know that they could, they were both saying that it would be pointless to save the world if they were unable to save each other. The same theme which was raised in Remember the Titans, you know? I think we should look at the bigger picture
# percysowner 2015-12-07 08:22
Yeah, I think this goes back all the way to the Pilot when Dean showed up.

DEAN: I can't do this alone.
SAM: Yes you can.
DEAN: Yeah, well, I don't want to.

Sam can do it alone. Heck he proved his independence over and over. Getting on that bus by himself. Spending hours in Plucky Pennywhistle's while terrified of clowns. Going to college knowing his father would never let him come back to the family. Living after Dean died. Working with Ruby when Dean didn't approve. Living after Dean went to Purgatory. Searching for a cure for the Mark of Cain. Sam has done plenty without Dean. Sometimes it has ended in disaster, but Sam KNOWS he can do it without Dean, he just doesn't want to.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-07 10:04
Exactly. Sam didn't allow Dean to go with him to Hell to save Bobby's soul, he sent him away with Castiel in seasn 8 finale and was curing Crowley and defeated Abbaddon all alone. He saved souls from demonic torture solo-hunting in season 9, he masterminded the back-up plan when Dean went after Metatron, he hunted down and caught DeamonDean all alone, he masterminded and set in motion BOTD spell, he sent Dean with Genna and stayed face-to-face with the whole town of rabids. Why should he think that he is uncapable to do anything without Dean? The opposite is true, he knows too well what he is capable for and it was shown in his inner dialogue when he was snapping out of the Werther spell in the Werther Project. That's why he is always controlling himself in order not to be too efficient, and that's why he imposed his tough moral codex upon himself, which is tougher than monk's cilice or a straightjacket. He knows, that when he sees a goal he may go too far. The lesson with Lilith didn't go amiss. His words in BOTD was just a mirror reflection of Dean's words in Pilot, and especially in Sacrifice. That's all.
# olivia 2015-12-04 13:05
So to me, underlying all of Dean's curt responses when Sam brings up the visions or the cage is Dean's fear that bad things will ensue if Sam trusts in these visions, and his very understandable horror at the thought of Sam going anywhere near the cage. Like a Barn Lights (" lights")
# cheryl42 2015-12-04 20:28
Barn Lights?
# BoGirle 2015-12-05 08:29
Yes it's true that bad things MIGHT happen. That' was exactly the same with TBofTD and Sam going to hell in the first place and Dean going to hell and everything else that has happened on this show. But what is the alternative to Sam going back to the cage? Nothing. Do nothing, learn nothing. Let the D continue to pull Dean into her spell until he's a drone, let her continue to suck all the souls in the world until there's nothing left? Let her take over the world and change everything and use us as her food supply? Inaction is still an action. This is the exact same thing that bugged me so much about TBofTD plot line and the spell that Sam was using to remove the mark from Dean's arm. What else was he supposed to do? Leave Dean the way he was? Let Dean kill Sam and let Death banish Dean to the nothing? Dean offered up not one solution to what Sam was proposing nor any other way to handle their current problem, he was just saying stop and that is what he's doing now too. Doing nothing, hoping the problem will go away is NEVER the answer, not in life and not on this show especially. At least Sam is moving forward.
# Jen 2015-12-05 19:19
Well said !!!
# BRR 2015-12-06 16:55
It goes to show that good forces have been looking out for him and not just Dean.
I enjoyed your review Alice, and I agree with just about everything you said. I also very much enjoyed the episode, and loved the fact that we got some great backstory/POV on Sam. I do have a question, though, with regards to this quote--what "good forces" EVER looked out for Dean? If you're thinking of the angels, all they ever did was try to manipulate him--even Cas, at first. They let him go to hell, after all, and timed their rescue to ensure that the seal got broken--they needed their Righteous Man, not Dean. I can't think of any other protector in the series, for him or Sam--except for Bobby, a human.

I'm not trying to start a "poor Dean" thread, or an argument about the brothers' roles. I'm just hoping someone can answer this!
# cheryl42 2015-12-06 17:23
God? He tries to let free will take the reins until it looks like one of the brothers is about to go down for good. Then he intervenes, I suppose in mysterious ways.
disgrunlted viewer
# disgrunlted viewer 2015-12-06 17:37
I think Alice meant angels, they needed their vessel, but to call those angels "good forces" a little bit of exaggeration
# cheryl42 2015-12-06 19:11
I know what Alice meant. I think in reality the only force that really looks out for the Winchesters contrary to what Dean thinks is God.
# BoGirle 2015-12-06 17:55
I think the angels were good forces compared to the demons. Not exactly good really, but Sam had both demons and the angels gunning for him. And though Cas wasn't always a reliable aly, especially in the beginning, he did in fact betray heaven (several times) because of what Dean has grown to mean to him. That's a pretty big, good force on Dean's side. It's only been recently that this same good force has been on Sam's side too, but I think Sam benefits as much now from that as Dean does.
# AlyCat22 2015-12-06 20:11
I'm confused. Are you saying only recently Cas has been on Sam's side? I seem to recall all the way back in the episode The Song Remains The Same Cas refusing to let Anna kill Sam because he was his friend.
# BoGirle 2015-12-06 20:28
True enough, but Cas' friendship was a transient thing back then. He let Sam out of the panic room just to get the apocalypse started again. He called Sam an "abomination" in season 5. He didn't come when Sam called him in season 6 and said it was because he and Dean had a "more profound bond." He broke Sam's wall in 6x22 for his own personal gain and was neither friend to Sam nor Dean in most of season 7, only rectifying his errors regarding Sam near the end of that season. Since then he's been mostly a friend.
# cheryl42 2015-12-06 22:09
The panic room was right after Bible Camp. The "abomination" comment was after he drank a liquor store (and he came because Sam called him). He didn't come when SS called because he didn't know what was wrong with Sam and he was fighting a war (he only came because of the staff of Moses not because of Dean). He broke Sam's wall in order to distract Dean. I think he had every intention of fixing Sam until he went insane. Cas also came when Sam called him to try and get him to return the souls to Purgatory. I think Cas is and was always Sam's friend. He just felt a stronger connection to Dean.
# AlyCat22 2015-12-07 02:06
Thank you Cheryl, I couldn't have put it better. My thoughts exactly.
# BoGirle 2015-12-07 08:50
. I moved this reply further down. :P
# cheryl42 2015-12-06 20:30
Yeah I think the only time Cas wasn't team Sam was right after he came back from Bible Camp.
disgruntled viewer
# disgruntled viewer 2015-12-07 05:39
cheryl42, and what about breaking Sam's wall? And the thing which is the most frustrating is that he did it in his war with Dean, he even didn't look at Sam as a person at that moment, he just did it to make Dean step back, and Sam was only a means for him to reach his goal.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-12-07 07:28
I don't know Cheryl, I'm with E and Disgruntled on this one. I think Cas had a pretty nominal friendship with Sam up until the last couple of seasons. It seemed more like he viewed it as a necessary extension of his friendship or "bond" with Dean. The most telling example of this is when he broke Sam's wall. Under no definition of friendship, whether Cas intended to fix it or not, would you do that to to a friend. He NEVER would have done that to Dean. Cas is the one who knew better than anyone, having felt Sam's horribly mangled soul, that he could be causing psychic pain to Sam from which he might never recover. So he doesn't get a pass on that one. I only felt like Sam and Cas started having a friendship in their own right in S 9, after Cas spent time as a human. Since then, I have very much enjoyed their growing friendship, and I actually like their relationship better than that between Dean and Cas, which seems pretty strained at times.
# BoGirle 2015-12-07 09:00
Yes, S&D. Cas would never have done to Dean what he did to Sam in 6x22. That is not the action of a friend, I don't care how much Cas intended to "fix" Sam in the aftermath. And once Cas was God he could have cared less about fixing Sam, so Sam had to suffer the consequences of Cas's actions for an entire season. And in season 5, Cas called Sam an abomination after he had sobered up and was discussing The Whore of Babylon and how to kill her. Cas's Abomination comment made it pretty clear that Sam was the last person he considered worthy. I agree with SamandDean, Cas hasn't really managed to forge much a of a friendship with Sam until after he's spent some time as human. Until then he seemed to mostly view Sam as an extension of Dean and not a person in his own right. Now, though I think that he does view Sam as a person separate from Dean and as a friend. I too am liking their fledgling friendship and wish there was more interaction between them.
# cheryl42 2015-12-07 10:46
Well Cas did almost beat Dean to death a few times.
# eilf 2015-12-07 19:19
I logged in to protest the 'oh he only broke Sam's wall to distract Dean line' because I can't believe you could think that was OK Cheryl (!) , but I see other people have me covered ...

Sam is as important a person as Dean. He is a person not a token in someone elses fight with Dean. It would be equally bad if it were the other way around BTW.

Cas may have apologized sorta, and he made amends, eventually, but, like with Cole the damage done originally was done deliberately to Sam, to get at Dean. This shouldn't be forgotten.

I wonder what people would be saying if either one had destroyed the Impala to 'distract' Dean?

And you know Cas and Dean have beaten each other up a few times - they both have done some thinking with their fists. Sam would never deliberately destroy Cas's mind to distract someone... It is different I think.
# cheryl42 2015-12-07 19:39
Well I will have to say I was expecting to get jumped on much sooner than this. I don't think it is ok. In the context of my comment I meant that Cas did that to Sam to distract Dean. But I don't think he truly meant Sam harm. I think Cas was so far gone at that point he wasn't thinking straight. He didn't want to kill Sam (or Dean or Bobby) in order to win his war, he thought he was saving them. It wasn't an excuse just an explanation. Cas was wrong wrong wrong. I despised him for that. And Sam forgave him. And tried to save him in the end. Like Sam always does.
# eilf 2015-12-07 19:54
Can we compromise on: 'apart from these things that Cas did, none of which were the actions of a friend, Cas has tried to be a friend to Sam?' ;)
# cheryl42 2015-12-07 21:04
Yes that would have been a much better way to phrase it.:)
# Alice 2015-12-06 21:49
That is an interesting question BRR. Throughout the series both Sam and Dean have had allies (Castiel is a great example), and God helped them both. My point was that a benevolent group of supernatural beings chose to help Sam after Sam had been targeted by demons ever since he was a young baby. It was nice to see someone other than Dean out there looking after him for once. Dean has had a crappy life, don't get me wrong, but he wasn't cursed at a young age the way Sam was. But yeah, when you're trying to throw together a review in a day and under 2,000 words, it is super difficult to explore those finer points or even articulate them well. That's exactly what I hope the comments do and your question is spot on.

I'd like to think that Amara is out there helping Dean right now. That's still a TBD, but Dean has managed to find some good allies in his adventures. He earned the respect of Death, until Dean killed him that is (I still don't believe Death is dead). Dean had Benny too, and in a strange way Crowley. So Dean has earned help along the way. But it is very clear that without each other, both Sam and Dean would be doomed. They both are the reason each other are alive.
# BRR 2015-12-07 15:48
Thanks for the clarification, Alice! I see how I misread the quote before--sorry about that. :(

So Dean has earned help along the way. But it is very clear that without each other, both Sam and Dean would be doomed. They both are the reason each other are alive.


Not sure Amara is looking out for Dean so much as she thinks she can count on him as an ally. This, as you say, is TBD.