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August 1st, 2018

And I'm back! And only one day late...

For my final selection, I've selected a scene that was LONG overdue...

S13 - Sam and Rowena discuss Lucifer - 13x12 Various and Sundry Villians

ROWENA: Are you very sure I can’t just enslave some townsfolk and make them take us to the girls?
SAM: I’m very sure you can, but I’m also very sure you shouldn’t.
ROWENA: Bless your precious heart, you just described my entire life.
SAM: [turning to face Rowena in the back seat] Rowena, even if you pull off whatever plan you’re trying to pull off, and even if you manage to get the book back –
ROWENA: [interrupting] I’ve been on my best behavior.
SAM: [nods in acknowledgement] Okay, sure. Let’s say you get the book. It’s not going to change anything. You’re still going to feel helpless. What Lucifer did to you–
ROWENA: [interrupting] Told you, I don’t… [puts on a brave, solemn face] Before he crushed my skull, Lucifer showed me his face. His true face. [brave façade cracks] I’m scared, Sam. All the time.
SAM: I’ve seen it too. What he really looks like behind – behind whatever vessel. It… Yeah, still keeps me up at night.
ROWENA: How do you deal with it?
SAM: I guess I don’t deal with it. Not really. I mean, I pushed it down and, um, the world kept almost ending, so I keep pushing it down, and I don’t know. [stammering] I really don’t talk about it, not even with Dean. I mean, I could. You know, he’d listen, but… That’s not something I really know how to share.

Why I chose this scene:

It's been 8 years since Sam got out of hell (10 years if we go by "actual" time - ignoring the two "skipped/looped" years). In those 8 years, we had 2-3 in which there were consequences to Sam's time in the cage (which I estimate to be AT LEAST 160 years "hell time" - if the we assume that the cage, being in the lowest reaches of hell, goes by hell time). But, even in those 2-3 years, where there were consequences, we never really delved too much into how Sam was DEALING with it. We saw him weathering it, we saw him... as he says here...pushing it down, away, doing is best to come out ahead and keep going. But, we never actually saw him directly address it. And, fair enough, you know - you don't just ask someone who has been tortured for 160 years to talk about his feelings right away and expect that he'll want to do so.

BUT, the fact that we get a glimpse of it here - the fact that Sam acknowledges that he HASN'T DEALT WITH IT. That he hasn't talked to Dean about, that he's just pushed it down... that he doesn't KNOW HOW to talk about it. I'd have loved this conversation in S8, where I think it really should have been (because it would explain so much about how adrift and OOC Sam was after Dean's "death", beyond us just having to acknowledge it as bad writing and doing our best to build up unsubstantiated headcanons to try to make up for Carver's failing). But, whether I wanted it sooner or not, I'm VERY THANKFUL that I get it here.

And, I won't say it's better, but I DO LOVE the fact that Sam has someone who can commiserate - who, even if she hasn't had the same extreme experience, has at least caught a glimpse of what Sam lived through. As much as I would love for Sam to confide in Dean... and my sidenote here is that I LOVE the fact that Sam and Dean's relationship is healthy enough that Sam knows Dean would listen and do his best to understand/help.... I also love the fact that Sam is able to share this and open up to someone other than his brother. I mean, yes, you could argue that Dean knows what it's like to be tortured with singular focus by a single entity in Hell. Alistair was Dean's Lucifer... BUT, at the same time, Lucifer is really a whole other type of beast. So, while Dean can no doubt commiserate about the torture, Rowena is really the only one that can commiserate about Lucifer... who simply has to show his true face to strike permanent terror into the hearts of humans. 

It also humanizes Rowena... who is MUCH more compelling as a multifaceted complex morally-grey character than she ever was as a cackling manipulating villain. She's basically moving from chaotic evil, through true neutral, to chaotic good (for those of you who know D&D alignments) and that's a hell of a character arc... and the best part is that it doesn't have to end when she gets to chaotic good, because that (like we see later) leads her into exploring where her new moral boundaries lie... is she still out only for herself, or does she start including the good of the universe in her decisions?

Now, granted, you could argue that this whole conversation is a well rehearsed move on Rowena's part to gain Sam's sympathy in order to ensure that he gives her the page out of the book that she needs.... I mean, in the end, that's how it works out. BUT, maybe I'm being too kind to her, but I don't think that's the case... I think Rowena DOES have a goal of starting a conversation that will give her an excuse to leave the car. Either Sam will get mad at her and start a fight, from which she can storm off, or she knows by sharing trauma, he will allow her to get some air... but, I think the content of her words are true. And we see much later in the season that the more sympathetic bond between her and Sam remains. Rowena is too proud of herself for well laid plans not to have gloated about the manipulation if it were one, and the fact that she never throws Sam's words back in his face, to me, proves that she meant what she said and plans to honour Sam's confidence as well.

Anyway, it's a great scene with complex characters and motivations... but really, despite all I just talked about Rowena, what I love most about it is how it cracks Sam open again in relation to Lucifer... it drove me NUTS in S11 that they had Sam and Lucifer in the same scenes, and had Sam playing family-counselor to Lucifer and God, like Sam had never been tortured and Lucifer was just an old annoyance rather than Sam's worst fear/greatest source of trauma/etc.

I'd love to see it explored a little more, but I think that, with Lucifer's death (and please god, let him remain dead) we're probably never going to address it again - and this will be all I ever get. So, I may as well treasure it! 

PROJECT FINISHED!

IMPORTANT NOTE:

I'm going to be disappearing for a few weeks, because I'm busy. However, I'll be back around the end of August. We still have September to get through before the show starts up again and I start up rewatches in October. SO... if you have any suggestions for something I should post in late August and September, please let me know!





This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/562647.html.