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When going into one of these filler weeks, I look for certain criteria in an episode.  Are TPTB remembering the season long myth arc or does the whole saga get addressed in a throw away comment?  Is the mystery interesting and not mind numbingly predictable?  Are the guest characters full of life or cardboard cutouts?  Finally, are the brotherly moments meaningful or boringly cliche?  Oh wait, there is one more criteria.  Was the episode somewhat entertaining or did it totally piss me off?

"Love Hurts" did surprise me in that most of the above criteria turned out favorable.  No, it wasn't a barn burner, but all I had to do is look at the credits to see that the episode was written by Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder.  I wasn't getting that because fast pacing is never their thing.  They believe in the slow unfolding of plot and then throw a twist at you later, assuming you're still paying attention by then.  Fortunately, this week I was.  

Before I get started, I have a disclaimer.  This week I’m actually in sunny Florida enjoying a small family vacation, so I’m not in my usual critical mood this week.  I watched the episode on a day after it aired, so what you’re getting is more of a gut reaction than something well thought out with a blur of vacation bliss mixed in for fun.  I’m typing this under palm trees with an umbrella drink on the table next to me.  So yeah, the Red Headed Monster is notably absent this week.    

Sure, “Love Hurts” followed a very cookie cutter pattern, with a slow and not so interesting teaser that clocked in at almost 4 minutes.  It was definitely inferior to the previous Valentine’s Day episode, “My Bloody Valentine,” written by the legendary Ben Edlund.  But I was just engaged enough where I was left guessing what would happen next and curiously wanted to see it play out.  The kiss of death was a great idea for a Valentine’s Day curse.  I liked the character of Melissa and thought she was in a relatable situation.  Her husband was one dimensional until he caved and showed Dean the nanny cam.  Imagine seeing yourself kill your lover and it wasn’t really you!  I’m sure that was hard not to share.  

What I didn't like the over-the-top monologuing witch with the iffy motives.  Witches, again?  Last week I complained that “Supernatural” sucks at vampires, and they so far have proven that they don’t do witches very well either.  I could tell the second she hit the screen she was toast.   I worried more about Melissa, who overcame her timid nature to ultimately save Sam's life (even if it was via distraction), who then in turn rescued Dean just in the nick of time.  Sue me, I’m a sucker for the unsung hero.  

Speaking of Melissa, did Dean kiss her because he figured he was taking her out of harms’ way (a nobility thing) or is he back to reckless mode?  His Valentine’s Day adventures suggested he’s back to his careless ways (speaking of which, what did you do for Valentine's Day Sam?).  I think careless Dean is actually more fun, but I would like to think that Sam will try to save Dean from something more than himself.  I also wonder if Dean knew it was Amara that would come calling.  I think he wanted to find out himself, if anything for a test that the attraction was real as he thought it was.  Yep, it is.  


Another Charmelo and Snyder trademark is the closing brotherly chat.  This is usually a weak spot of theirs but this time they got it right.  It's a role reversal for sure from the early days when Dean played level headed brother and then flashed the private look of worry when Sam walked away.  This time, Sam offers the assurances then does the look.  Was I stunned that Dean honestly told him that Amara surfaced as his deepest desire?  I wasn't stunned by Sam's reaction, I did suspect he already knew, but I was more than stunned that Dean confessed it.  Well, stunned at first and then totally relived.  A healthy brotherly conversation!  Who'd have thunk?  

It’s been said by many of you, but I for one still continue to not only be impressed with this mature and wise for his years Sam, but that he’s actually being written consistently from week to week.  It’s the self actualized Sam that we fans dreamed and talked about for years, the one that only through some rather wicked and often uncalled for hard knocks has found his rhythm and redemption.  Gone is the desperate, wild-eyed Sam that was still present as late as the end of season ten, one that was not only worried about Dean, but one who without question committed acts so desperate to save his brother it jeopardized the entire world.  

Sam did have that lingering look at the end, "the gaze of Winchester worry” as I call it, something that was previously trademarked by the older brother (my favorite to this day is from season one’s “Nightmare”).  He may not have been surprised over the hold that Amara had over Dean, but he was still troubled to hear it.  Could this possibly be foreshadowing of a difficult choice that Sam will have to make?  With his new found mantra of saving as many people as he can, will he be forced to finally choose the greater good over his brother?  The resolved guilt over not looking for Dean wants us to believe that he might, but who knows, it could be another fake out like last season when the writers had us believing that Dean could kill Sam.  When facing the ultimate push comes to shove moment, he couldn’t do it.  That’s all pure speculation though, which is what I’m left to do since these filler episodes are doing nothing more than raising questions and leaving things up the imagination.  

So yeah, another week of having no idea what happened to Crowley or what Cassifer is up to.  I guess that answer comes next week, at least with Cassifer.  I really hope that Mark Sheppard is enjoying his extended break.  So Aloha, or whatever you say from sunny Florida, until next week, when my usually bitter self is back is frosty Ohio and grumpy as ever.    


# Debbie 2016-02-12 18:24
I am not watching supernatural next week, because of two reasons one the boys are separate again and I hate that. The other reason is I do not like to see Sam maybe become Satan again. What is the point of this. And if Sam is again going to be Satan when I am out of Supernatural for good, because if I turn on to supernatural all I will see every time I good at Sam is Satan. And I like Sam to much and I will not watch supernatural only for Dean the show is about two brothers not one. Anyways my vote does not court. I think at this point the show needs to be CANCEL. NO NOT NEEDS HAS TO BE CANCEL. Anyways it looks like Jared jump ship and has gone to a old show he his been on before and I have to use in watching that one I have seem it before and I have no use in sope opreras and must of all lovey Dover. I do not care who ends with who
# cheryl42 2016-02-12 21:17
Goodness! I wouldn't worry too much about Sam saying yes to Lucifer. Luci seems pretty content right where he is possessing Castiel. Both Jared and Jensen have repeatedly said that neither brother will be anything other than Sam and Dean this season. Now granted the season is only half way through but so far so good. And isn't Sam being written wonderfully this year? I think so.

No, I for one don't think SPN needs to or has to be canceled. I think if you tune in next week you will be pleasantly surprised.

I just re watched the episode and I liked it even more the second time through. I thought the guest stars did a great job in their roles. Phil Scriggia's directing was fantastic as always. The J's were not only stunning looking they brought their usual A game to the episode. RPS moment was probably more significant than just the gag (thank you Anna, now that's in my brain). I loved that when Dean finally confessed his fears to Sam what he got was total support. Sam really is being written beautifully this season. And that look from Sam in the end, not sure he was up to the task but determined to do whatever he had to in order to save everyone. Specially Dean.

Dean kissing Melissa I think was just Dean doing what needed to be done. She was going to die if he didn't do something. He was just being the hero. My impatience with the Dean/Amara connection was appeased some with Dean finally coming clean. I figured his embarrassment was one of the reasons but it made me sad to hear him admit he thought he was letting Sam down. And even worse that Sam may have to pull him from the fire. That was huge for Dean. I hope this doesn't turn into a suicidal Dean. I think Sam has enough on his plate at the moment without having to deal with that too. Although if it results in a "just cuz' " moment I will let that one go.

Thanks for the review Alice. Enjoy your vacation.
# Didi 2016-02-12 21:29
Cheryl, I feel the same way that you about this ep. I was a little puzzled when Dean came clean to Sam, and Sam said something to the tune of "for some reason she chose you" I don't remember exactly word for word, but it was something to that effect. I thought it was clear that Amara and Dean are connected by the mark and that he set her free...shouldn' t Sam know that? What do you think?

I don't know, maybe I'm just being overly picky.
# cheryl42 2016-02-12 23:58
That whole Dean/Amara connection so far anyway doesn't make a whole lot of sense since the Mark was gone when they met. I don't know what she means about them being bound and showing the Mark. If she is bound to anyone it should be Lucifer who should still have the Mark. Maybe it will all get clearer as the show progresses. Maybe Sam is confused too.
# Jen 2016-02-13 01:24
I'm not sure about this mark connection either, My only guess and something close to making sense, is not the mark persay but what she stands for (Amara) The Darkness. If you look at Amara not as a person but more as a representation of a object/feeling it can make a bit more sense ???? Dean would be connected and attracted to the dark side of himself. He has never denyed this he has always battled with this side of himself. The peace, the non-judgemental , no regrets, calm like when he was in purgatory. When Amara wont's them to become one, maybe Dean will become the darkness.
Not like Demon Dean or Purgatory Dean a total and complete surrender to darkness Does that make sense It did went I wrote it LOL :(:(:(:o
# Luc 2016-02-13 02:55
Dean let her out. So der is the connection, He had the mark and he let her out. Having the mark herself is just a symbol that she controls the mark, not the other way around. Yes Amara is in someway connected to both Cain and Lucifer. But Cain is dead, and Lucifer is way to strong to be influenced by this connection
# BoGirle 2016-02-13 09:38
Actually, Amara, Cas and Sam let her out, Dean is the only character who had no part in letting her out.
# cheryl42 2016-02-13 10:21
I think you mean Rowena. :)
# BoGirle 2016-02-14 17:04
He, yes... Rowena.
# Jen 2016-02-15 02:46
I might just say here girls That if anyone is responsible for releasing the Darkness its Rowenna she is the only one who can read the book and perform the spell. If she wanted to Rowenna could have warned them about the conciquences of removing the mark. I'm sure there was something in the book to warn of the darkness or at least the meaning of the Mark. Rowenna manipulated the spell when Sam went to visit Lucy who is to say she didn't change this spell. There may have been a safe way to remove the Mark, a way to keep it locked up Maybe ?? We don't know because know one can read the book !!!!!!!!!?????? ??????
# AlyCat22 2016-02-13 23:12
Yes. Thank you for correcting that misunderstandin g. Dean killed Death but that had nothing to do with the Darkness being set free. That was the direct result of the MOC Cure spell which Sam had Rowena cast along with the help of Crowley and Cas.
# MK 2016-02-14 01:57
Well, using that logic, Sam had nothing to do with the Darkness being released because he didn’t find the book, he didn’t translate the Codex, he didn’t say the spell, he wasn’t even in the room when it was being said. Dean wanted the MOC gone, he just didn’t (after a time) want the book used in order to do it.

This is identical to the Apocalypse, when Dean breaking the first seal was the first domino fell in releasing Lucifer. Sam might have killed Lilith (something Dean wanted done and, with Bobby, was on the way to do it himself, he just didn’t want Sam using Ruby to do it, which makes it identical to the MOC situation), but he could have killed 100 Liliths and it wouldn’t have made a difference if the first seal remained closed.

With the MOC, as with the Apocalypse (and other storylines in between) Sam, and others, did damage trying to put out the fire, but Dean is the one who dropped the burning match in the first place. Without Dean taking on the MOC, there would have been no need for the to try and get Dean rid of the MOC. Had Dean left the MOC where it was, the Darkness would have stayed where it was.
# sid 2016-02-14 05:20
So Charlie is responsible for it all? Oh wait Charlie wouldn't have known about the book if Sam hadn't told her about it. The book would have been at least attempted to be destroyed if Sam had thrown it in the fire like Charlie and Dean wanted, Rowena wouldn't have been near the book if Sam hadn't have handed it to her and she wouldn't have had the codex if Sam hadn't gone and gotten it for it her and Oscar wouldn't have been identified as someone Rowena loved if Sam hadn't brought Cas into the situation.

You can say Sam isn't responsible but he was the start of it and managed the supergroup who got the mark off of Dean even though Dean told him about the darkness and he didn't call Cas to stop, he told Cas to keep going even though they were told someone had to give their life (even if that was Crowley) someone had to die.

Dean may have had the mark but he asked to be contained once he found out the getting rid of the mark had major consequences for everyone else. Sam was told the same and kept going. You may say that Dean taking the mark started this but Sam was the one who didn't leave it where it was, Dean kind of lit a match (which if left would burn out as Caine said he when he was committing his genocide it would have taken 1/10th of the population), Sam dumped a crap load of kerosene on it even when told by others not to and put the planet in danger.

Give Sam the responsibility, he earned it he is an adult not a child to be protected. Allow him to own his sodding actions. They are in the show and it is leading to character development let him do it on the board.
# MK 2016-02-14 06:06
I don’t remember saying that. Wait, I didn’t say that. However, by using the same logic used by E and AlyCat to absolve Dean of responsibilty, then logically Sam is not responsible for the reasons I mentioned. If Dean holds no responsibility then neither does Sam.

My belief is that they all played a part in it. Charlie wasn’t asked to get the book, she got it anyway. She bears responsibility for that. Rowena, Castiel and Charlie could all have said ‘No’ to Sam. They didn’t. Charlie and Castiel explicitly stated they were doing it ‘for Dean’. Sam bears responsibility because he tried to save his brothers life instead of just letting him free to kill whomever he wanted or to send him to a fate worse than death.

Dean told Sam about the Darkness too late, and Dean also had the chance to stop things by killing Sam, something Sam endorsed. He didn’t. And somebody had to give their life? Sorry but, big deal. How many people would have had to ‘give their life’ had the mark not been removed? How many people had already given their life by the mark being on Dean in the first place? How many people have already given their life because of Sam and Dean?

When Dean was contained, he immediately escaped so how long do you propose they contain him for? Sure there were consequences, but there are consequences to everything they do. There would have been consequences to the mark not being removed. There had already been consequences to leaving it where it was.

Sm has already owned his actions. Sam has the responsibility. All Sam ever seems to have is the responsibility. He bore sole responsibility for the Apocalyse, though that was also a team effort. He also bore sole punishment for that. He (and Kevin) bore responsibility for the possession. He bore responsibility for being soulless. He has already owned his actions, and fans have long accepted that. (How could they not? Every time they engage in discussion about it they are told ‘It’s not Dean’s fault. It’s all Sam’s fault.) Heavens forbid Dean’s accepts responsibility. Heaven’s forbid Dean be considered an adult. Heaven’s forbid Dean be allowed some maturity, and Heaven’s forbid Dean actually be allowed some character development or character development expected of him. No. Dean must remain utterly stagnant because, per many fans, he bears no responsibility for anything therefore there is no need for him to ever change or grow.
# sid 2016-02-14 06:36
Dean told Sam about the Darkness too late, and Dean also had the chance to stop things by killing Sam, something Sam endorsed.
BS and you know it. Dean told Sam about the darkness and the mark was on his arm. At that point Sam could have said, 'Wait a minute,' pulled out his phone called Cas and asked if they had completed the spell and if not could have asked they hang on for a moment till he got more info and he didn't. It was because it would break dramatic tension but fact is there was that ability as we knew there was cell reception in both the warehouse and the place Sam and Dean were. So the ability was there and Sam didn't do it, like it or not that is what we saw, he was told about the darkness and spent time telling Dean he was a good man, showing him family pics before getting on his knees to let Dean kill him, not askiong more about the mark and calling to stop the spell. As for Dean stopping the mark being off his arm by killing Sam. No, killing Sam was the price he was paying to get Death to send him somewhere to be contained. His decision to kill or not kill Sam had no bearing on Rowena driving a knife into Oscar, something Sam had been happy for Cas to rrange as he told Cas to keep going after they found out someone had to give their life at Rowena's hand. Sam had set the wheels in motion to remove the mark and Dean didn't know they were still happening. Dean could have killed Sam, death sent him somewhere and the spell would still have been said and the mark removed and the Darkness released. Just Dean would have been off world and Sam would have been dead.

Luc started this by saying Dean let the darkness out. No he didn't, the people who worked together to remove the mark from Dean's arm were the ones that released the darkness and saying Dean took the mark so he is as culpable for the removal of the mark when he had said on a number of occasions to Sam and co not too is twisting logic. When he asked Death and was told about the darkness he wanted contained away from people, when he felt the book was too big a price he was willing not to use it. Give Sam his sodding decision, stop taking it away from him because that is what you are doing. It is integral to his growth this season because he knows he is culpable for the darkness being out because he was the only one that knew how close the others were to pulling the removal off while knowing that the darkness was the consequence. It was a short period of time but Sam still had that time and he chose. And he chose instead of calling Cas to stall or stop the spell if possible he spent that short period of time talking to Dean - he put Dean above creation.

Dean is culpable in putting Sam above being contained, by killing Death not Sam. But in the end he wasn't killing Death to get the mark off, he was killing Death to save Sam. His actions did not lead to the darkness getting out because they are two different things. Sam's did, you might not like that but those are the facts even though Dean keeps saying 'we' let out the darkness even though he told Sam to shut down Rowena and the spellbinders group when Charlie was killed and told Sam to destroy the book. It is the sodding reason Sam keeps say 'I ' when talking about releasing Amara.
# MK 2016-02-14 07:46
Not BS. Dean mentions ‘The Darkness’, he acknowledges they have no idea what that is, then Death talks, Sam implores Dean telling him he’s a good person, and they fight. Sure, Sam could have stopped in the middle of trying to convince Dean not to have Death send him into outer space or Dean trying to kill him, and made a phone call, but perhaps he felt those were more pressing matters. Dean too could have picked up the phone at any time and made a phone call. He didn’t. However, at the time Sam left to go to Dean, they were nowhere near finishing the spell. There was a list of ingredients still to be found, including Oscar, who lived 300 years ago, so was presumably long dead.

Re the Darkness, at that stage, they didn’t exactly know what the consequences of the Darkness were. Were they any worse than Dean walking around with the MOC? Not that they knew off. And thus far, the Darkness has killed fewer people than Dean did with the Mark.

Death’s solution to the Mark was to ‘relocate’ Dean. Dean killing Sam would have stopped Sam from trying to find Dean. It wasn’t a price that Death demanded, it was a necessity that Death acknowledged.

And once again, there would have been no need for Sam to ‘set the wheels in motion’ in Dean hadn’t taken on the MOC in the first place. There wouldn’t have been a need for one without the other. I’m sorry, sid, but I don’t get this determination to absolve Dean of absolutely everything that he does. Dean is not some hapless victim of circumstance. His actions instigate most of the major storylines in the show. (Perhaps that is why we have so rarely seen him apologise, accept responsibility or change his ways. If he did, there would be no show.)

The Darkness was contained while it was on Cain’s arm. The process of the Darkness being released was started when Dean took the mark from Cain. Dean, as you might recall, also wanted the Mark removed when he was done with it. If the book wasn’t used and they found some other way, presumably Dean would have been okay with that, so the Darkness would have been released one way or the other.

Lucifer and Amara both said that Dean let the darkness out. Why are you dismissing both of those? They of all people would know. Even Dean has accepted (part) responsibility, and that is massive, massive development for Dean. This show is exceptionally show to allow Dean responsibility for anything, so the fact that 3 characters have acknowledged Dean's role in the Darkness being released must mean something.

As I said in my last post, I have given Sam his ‘sodding’ decision. Sam is responsible for trying to save Dean’s life, after Dean’s own actions put him in that position. What I am questioning is the absolving of Dean of any and all responsibility. Like it or not, Dean also needs to mature and develop, and a big way for that to start would be Dean acknowledging the consequences of his actions and endeavouring to not do them again.

Re the ‘sodding reason Sam keeps say 'I ‘, he did the same thing after the Apocalypse; something else that was a team effort. That's just what Sam does, so why should now be any different?
# sid 2016-02-14 08:11
Sure, Sam could have stopped in the middle of trying to convince Dean not to have Death send him into outer space or Dean trying to kill him, and made a phone call, but perhaps he felt those were more pressing matters. Dean too could have picked up the phone at any time and made a phone call.
The way you rationalise this is outstanding.

You say Sam chose to talk to Dean rather than call and Dean could have called Cas - Dean didn't know how close they were when he was told about the darkness, he didn't know they were still using the book as he told Sam to shut it down and walked off. Sam did know how close and was told this darkness was a consequence and he chose to talk to Dean instead of calling to see if the spell had been completed (the murder of someone, because like it or not that is what that was as Oscar was no evil, he wasn't fighting, he didn't volunteer either).

When it comes to letting out the darkness it doesn't matter if Dean has the mark, him saying he's keeping it if he doesn't like the consequence of removing it and not helping anyone trying to and continually saying don't remove it means he didn't want it removed. What do you want him to do? Put Cas and Sam in a playpen all day to stop them doing anything? Because according to the logic you are using Dean is responsible for Sam and Cas' actions when he isn't in the room, that flies for toddlers but not adults.

Hell by your logic Dean is responsible for Cas saying yes to Lucifer because he didn't build him up enough, he is responsible for not knowing the Lucifer is out because he didn't realise by looking at Cas Lucifer is walking about as Cas.

As for dismissing Lucifer and Amara, yes I am dismissing them - why? Lucifer has need for Sam to feel like he is his best hope and best friend. Amara is connected to Dean as he is the last person who had the mark so is playing with some of the info. We watched season 10 so we know how that played out and we know the process of letting the darkness out didn't start with Dean taking the mark as Cain still had it - for that reason the Darkness was contained when the mark left Dean in about a boy. The reason the darkness got out was Cain was dead and the mark was removed from Dean. While there was one mark in place the Darkness was in her bottle. Dean said not to remove the mark - Sam went ahead and worked with a group to do so.

Give Sam his ability to be an adult man. He needs it, he deserves it. For the love of God stop going other people are responsible for his moves when it came down to it he had the most information on the board and he made a call even if it did let out the darkness.
# MK 2016-02-14 09:10
The way you rationalise this is outstanding.

Thank you.

Sam didn’t know how close they were. Like I said, when Sam got the call there were still a lot of stages to go. What difference does Oscar being evil or not make?

And why could Dean not have called Sam or Castiel or Crowley to tell them? He knew about the Darkness before Sam did. Castiel would listen to Dean before Sam. When Dean did call Sam he didn’t tell him anything about the Darkness.

What could help Dean is talking to his brother and his friend, not just giving them orders. Dean knew that Sam hadn’t stopped looking for a way to rid him of the Mark. He knew he hadn’t burned the book. Why does Dean persist in giving Sam orders and expect them to be followed just because he’s the one who gives them? (Perhaps this is another way Dean could mature and develop.)

Kindly point out where I said Dean is responsible for Sam and Cas’s actions. I said Dean set the ball rolling on the Darkness being released. He dropped the first match. However, by putting blame solely on Sam, you are making Sam responsible for both Castiel’s and Charlie’s actions and decisions.

If Lucifer had need for Sam to feel like he is his best hope and best friend then the last thing he’d do would be to hold Dean responsible. Lucifer also tells the truth. That’s what makes him dangerous. Amara is the Darkness. If Sam was responsible for releasing her, then why didn’t she say that? She did meet him. The Darkness as an entity was brought back into play when Dean took on the MOC and killed Cain. Would it be released if it was still on Cain’s arm? No. Would it still be in play if Dean had killed Sam? Possibly not.

Oh, Sam worked with a group? So I guess he’s not solely responsible now? What actions did Sam take to rid Dean of the Mark? We know he didn’t find the book, translate the Codex, say the spell, kill Oscar etc. He asked people to help him save Dean. They said yes. Is Sam responsible for their actions? If yes then Dean is responsible for Sam and Dean’s actions, something you vehemently protested.

You could take your last paragraph and change Sam’s name to Dean, because it would still be applicable then. However, I’d put in all names involved; Dean’s included.
# sid 2016-02-14 12:24
Sam did know how close they were. They were just missing the last ingredient and that was what Rowena loved. Even if you say he didn't know they had Oscar you can say that he knew Cas was searching for Rowena needed to kill and he didn't call Cas to stop that search when he found out about the darkness,

He had that information and Dean didn't so out of the two of them Sam was more tooled up than Dean was in regard to the spell as Dean had told them not to use the book to get it off his arm and that was the only lead they had until Dean asked Death. The second Death said he could remove it but Dean had to pass it on Dean said no. His stance on removal was not if the consequences were too high and every avenue they had were considered to high. From using the book to staying a kid as it would mean he wouldn't be strong enough to deal with the witch and him Tina and Sam would be killed.

Sam and Cas made the decision to use the book to get rid of the mark. Sam suggested they use it while Dean said not to. Then removal is on the person or group acting to remove it and not the barer of it who didn't want to use the method Sam and Co were prescribing.

You are saying Dean let out the darkness by taking the mark - Dean took the mark so did Cain is he too blame for Amara being out too?

By saying that Dean is as culpable as Sam in this when told not to, it means Sam has no ability to be held accountable for any action he has or any role he under takes. It is like he should be in diapers and Dean dropping him and Cas off at daycare because Dean in the end is in charge.
# MK 2016-02-14 13:19
They were missing three ingredients. Oscar was just one of them.

It’s not the actual removal that Dean had an issue with, it was using the book. Wow, the links back to season 4. It wasn’t killing Lilith that Dean had an issue with, it was Ruby helping Sam to do it. Still doesn’t escape the fact that Dean wanted the Mark removed/Lilith dead.

It’s hard to know the situation with Cain as we were told so little about it. We were told Lucifer put the Mark on Cain, but we’re not fully aware of the circumstances. We do know that Dean choose to take it from Cain, who had been successfully guarding it for millenia.

There’s no need to drop Sam in a creche, and Dean is not in charge. Oh, he likes to think that, dictator and all. However, his initial actions are what put them all in danger in the first place, so he might was to relinquish that way of thinking. Add to that, Castiel also had a role to play, so shouldn’t he be in diapers too, as should Crowley, and Charlie and yes, Dean. Though I am getting the inkling that that is Sam’s biggest crime for you, not following Dean’s orders.

Sam can be held responsible for his role in releasing the Darkness. Not sole responsibility for releasing it. His role was to ask people to help, and decide that Dean should be saved. Oh, and per you, not making a phone call in time.
# sid 2016-02-14 08:29
Dean is responsible for taking the mark and for killing Death instead of Sam so preventing a proper way to contain him even if he was going rabid but the removal of the mark isn't on him considering he kept telling people not to do so.

That isn't absolving Dean that is giving Dean his place in the order of events, just like saying Sam killing Lilith is on Sam even if it let out Lucifer because there were 64 seals between Dean's righteous man and Lilith needing to die and Dean wasn't in the room when Sam stuck the knife in. At any point Sam could have held back the final blow and he didn't.
# MK 2016-02-14 09:29
Up until meeting Death, Dean wanted the Mark removed. He was not telling people not to remove the Mark. He was telling them not to remove the mark using the book. Deans place in the order of events was to remove the Mark from a safe place in order to use it for his own purposes. He also didn't kill Sam, which might have prevented the rest of the team from finishing the spell (had they known). He didn't tell any of the team about the Darkness despite knowing about it long before Sam did.

Re Lilith/letting Lucifer out. That was all Sam did, kill Lilith. He broke one seal. Dean broke one seal. Angel and demons broke multiple seals. I guess the Apocalypse was a team effort. However, blame was put solely on Sam. The same thing is happening here. The Darkness being out and about was a team effort. However, many are putting blame solely on Sam. I know that's pretty much the norm on this show, and Sam accepting sole responsibly for the actions of more than just himself is, for many, somehow a sign of maturity and showing Sam as an adult. However, what is adult or mature about accepting sole responsibility for actions for which you are not solely responsible for?
# sid 2016-02-14 12:25
He also didn't kill Sam, which might have prevented the rest of the team from finishing the spell (had they known). He didn't tell any of the team about the Darkness despite knowing about it long before Sam did.
Hiow does killing Sam stop the spell as Sam is not casting anything at that point and Rowena and Cas are doing the donkey work? How does Dean tell them about he darkness to stop the spell when he wasn't aware at that point there was anything to actually stop as he didn't know how far on they were let alone actually doing anything as he told Sam to stop using the book?

Seriously how????
# MK 2016-02-14 13:22
So Sam is not casting anything, and Rowena and Cas are doing the donkey work so tell me again, exactly what is it that Sam did to remove the Mark and release the Darkness??

Regardless of how far along Dean thought they were or were not, he was aware they were doing something to save him.

How might killing Sam stop the spell? One of two ways. Sam dies, Dean gets shot into space. The spell, if it’s done, could easily be out of reach of Dean.

Second way. Sam dies, Dean rings Castiel or Crowley. Tells them Sam is dead, and about the Darkness so not to do the spell. Dean gets shot into space.

You’ve already ruled out the third option of Dean ringing Castil or Crowley while Sam was alive.
# sid 2016-02-15 04:29
How might killing Sam stop the spell? One of two ways. Sam dies, Dean gets shot into space. The spell, if it’s done, could easily be out of reach of Dean.
So ultra powerful magicks with only one intention have a known distance limit now? When did this happen? Do we have evidence of this?

Second way. Sam dies, Dean rings Castiel or Crowley. Tells them Sam is dead, and about the Darkness so not to do the spell. Dean gets shot into space.
Dean knew Sam was working with Cas over the spell and he told Sam to shut it down so basically Dean calling Cas to stop a spell he has already said he doesn't want even after killing Sam is you wanting Dean to micro manage everyone because that means he doesn't trust Sam and Co not to use the book even though he has continually said he doesn't want the spell removed that way. Basically what you are suggesting is the thing you are complaining that Dean does to Sam and everyone else??

I would say pick one version of Dean you'd be happy with a micro manager or someone who trusts his brother and friends to do the play even if it means he goes mad, but I get it even though Dean is culpable for not letting the Mark being contained he is responsible for everything else too including the fall of the West, the Flint Water crisis and the trouble in the Middle East because he isn't standing over everybody's shoulder gently persuading them not to do stupid things. You get Sam is essentially a baby in that case because he isn't accountable for anything because any questionable decision he makes is really Dean's fault and any guilt he feels is really equivalent to a toddler feeling that his Daddy is disappointed in him when he is caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Not the real remorse of someone who had made a choice, it went tits up and is trying to do better anything. Hell it re enforces everything Dean said while under the thrall of that penny. It screws any character growth in the past couple of seasons as everything is down to Dean.

God that is a boring show.
# MK 2016-02-15 05:44
So ultra powerful magicks with only one intention have a known distance limit now? When did this happen? Do we have evidence of this?
Do we have evidence it doesn’t? Add to that, even if Sam died and Dean was shot into space, Castiel would still look to get Dean back so his idea would have pointless.

Dean making a phone call is not micromanaging. It's Dean taking responsibility. Dean knew that Sam was working on it, and hadn’t stopped. Therefore, bypass Sam and go to someone else. Once Sam is dead, make the phone call himself. Or hell, make the phone call when Sam is alive. Or should Sam be expected to make the phone call after Dean has killed him? Dean can’t have it both ways. He can’t not trust Sam, and he doesn’t trust Sam, and still expect Sam to do what he orders.

I’d be happy with a Dean who trusts his brother and treats him as an equal, but we’ve never gotten that. Not because Sam can’t be trusted, but because Dean doesn’t want to, and so goes out of his way to put Sam into situations where he can’t win, so lo and behold, ‘Sam can’t be trusted’. It’s ironic, considering that Sam very often acts in the the same way as Dean, so I guess Dean can’t be trusted either.

Dean could have, at any stage, talked to his brother, instead of just ordering him around. Dean could, at any stage, think about his actions and how they affect other people, instead of just doing what he wants and hoping that someone else will clean up the mess after him.

I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that everything is down to Dean. Dean had his role, Sam had his role. That’s not everything is down to Dean. I just don't buy into the ‘Nothing on this show is down to Dean and it’s all Sam’s fault and the only way for Sam to show growth and maturity is to accept responsibility for absolutely everything and if he doesn’t he’s a baby’ idea that you’re trying to sell.

Dean had nothing to do with the things that you mentioned, though perhaps the Winchesters haven’t been to those areas. Chances are if they had been there, they’d have left some destruction behind. That is their M.O.

You persistently talk about how Sam is a baby, yet you’re the one who is doing all they can to absolve Dean of any and all responsibility in what is going on re the Darkness. Where is the maturity in that? Surely that’s Dean being the baby, setting things in motion but then pointing the finger of blame to anyone and everyone to avoid culpability himself. Dean, thankfully, has shown more maturity that that. Have his fans?

Yes, a show where the brothers are equals, share blame when they both mess us and share success when they right their wrongs as opposed to a show where one brother gets blamed for everything. I can see what some might find that boring.
# BoGirle 2016-02-14 17:08
Sam didn't tell Charlie about the book, Charlie told Sam about the book......
# Lilah_Kane 2016-02-14 17:35
Actually Sam did tell Charlie first about the book because they send her to investigate it in Italy. That is what happened in the earlier episode. And I think Dean releasing the Darkness is as simple as he was the bearer of the mark when she was released. She doesn't know about Sam, the book, Crowley, Rowena, Castiel etc. That is all Amara knows and doesn't seem to care about the rest nor semantics. So in her eyes Dean released her. :)

# cheryl42 2016-02-14 17:57
Well actually Sam mentioned the book when Charlie happened to be standing there and she volunteered (without anyone asking her) to go investigate in Europe. No one sent her.
# Lilah_Kane 2016-02-15 02:22
Yeah, couldn't remember it how it all went but point was Sam told it and Charlie heard about it from him. I don't know how this changes that Charlie heard it from Sam first? And btw I am not blaming Sam. She just heard it from Sam because that is what happened. Not really more to say about it on my behalf.

- Lilah
# BoGirle 2016-02-14 17:07
I am not blaming Sam in any of this, he had to do what he had to do. This show has a bad habit of putting Sam between a rock and a hard place and then blaming him for taking action. I was merely pointing out that Amara's connection to Dean because as she says "You let me out, we're connected" is ludicrous, because Dean was pretty much the only one who had no part in the actual release of her.
# Luc 2016-02-13 02:52
Wow, what are you doing watching this brilliant Show??? Saying it should end and that you don't care, Y r u HERE??
# YellowEyedSam 2016-02-12 18:37
Well I certainly miss the bitter, grumpy Alice (You said it not me!). I love your honesty and enjoy reading your in depth reviews :D
# Grace232 2016-02-12 19:34
Thanks Alice. Great review - and I appreciate the reminder of Nightmare. It really was reminiscent of that scene.

I am also so happy to hear you are on vacation! Good for you - you deserve it! And thanks for all you do with this site for all of us!

Looking forward to next week. Need to go turn the heat up - it is 20 degrees here - no vacation for me!
sammy winchester
# sammy winchester 2016-02-12 20:48
I believe that cass/lucifer he was taking advantage of knowing that dean is sam's weak point it to induce that sam takes as the only option to say if to Lucifer to save dean of should love
# SueB 2016-02-13 01:25
I am LOVING the relationship with the brothers and the amount of maturity they both are showing. This feels like well-earned, permanent character growth. Everything I wanted.

And I can't wait for net week. It looks freakin' fantastic.
# Sharon 2016-02-13 04:14
I understand people are loving the brothers relationship this season but I cannot say that because I do not think it has been earned at all. We got to this point with the brothers because the writers started writing the Sam people wanted to see saying the right things being the understanding brother that apparently he was not in season 9 the onus as been put on Sam and his redemption to bring the 'relationship' to this 'maturity' not on Dean .

Earned ? no not for me to of it been earned then Dean,s role in the whole thing since season 9 should of had far more bigger onus .
# Didi 2016-02-13 04:51
I can understand your frustration. A lot of us asked where's Dean's mea culpa? I think it's coming. The writers can only cram so much in to a 42 minute ep.

The brothers are on speaking terms, Dean hasn't tried to decapitate Sam with a meat cleaver yet. Neither brother made a demon deal behind the others back. So yeah, I'm a happy camper so far. Has this been a perfect season? Heck no. But it's the best we've had under Carver. I agree with others who've said this season has had a lot of throwback moments to the Kripke era, which as far as I'm concerned is the holy grail of SPN.

Sam and Dean are so different. They process information differently, they react differently, their coping mechanisms are different. Sam has had a lot character development this year, and with Dean now asking Sam to take control, hopefully the writers will use this as an opportunity to allow Dean to mature and grow. There's still a of season left, and I'm really excited to see it unfold - more excited than I've been in 3 years.
# Sharon 2016-02-13 10:01
I do not think it is coming at all there is no real history of them doing that with Dean . Season 9 did too much damage for me to get excited over the brothers relationship and where they are now so it makes no difference for me although I do try but it is like trying to light a fire in a hurricane with a dud match .

But I do try .
# Jen 2016-02-13 06:04
Well said Didi Sam & Dean seemed to go from young men learning the business (S1-S5) to Grumpy Old Men in one major leap without any story or reason behind it
Then you get S11 which is OOHH so wonderful Two mature brothers together fighting the good fight -- It's as if S6 - S9 didn't exist
As you said Sam at present has been given the major character development But I think Dean is there already just needs smoothing around the edges. One of his major personality faults is always blaming himself and feeling he is the Grunt the one that can be sacrificed. This is Dean I don't think you should change this ???
# njspnfan 2016-02-13 10:17
Umbrella-drink Alice's reviews are much less critical than home-in-Ohio-in -the-middle-of- winter Alice's reviews :):) This episode was okay for a filler. I think Sam was worried because things must be really bad for Dean to admit this to him. That being said, Sam has actually shown some real character growth this season; I hope we get the same for Dean in the second half of the season; I think Dean admitting he had a problem was the first step in that direction.