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Rewatch S6: Exile on Main St. (6.01)

Good news and bad news: The bad news is that I still haven't gotten my S6 DVDs, so I can't start working on the clothing catalogue update. The good news is that I am spending the next 10 days house-sitting for someone who has the S6 Bluray. So, I CAN do my rewatch posts. (This is all probably for the best, since doing everything in one viewing is actually sort of difficult.)

For those new to my rewatch posts: I mostly quote dialogue I like, and then talk about why I like it, how it fits into different themes, etc. I don't talk about every second of the episode, well, sometimes I do, but it really depends on the episode.

So, let's jump right into the creepy/mysterious Noir Season of Supernatural:

ONE YEAR AGO...such a good opening recap, and actually NOT set to music. Interesting. We make up for the lack of tunes though, by having the awesome music montage of Dean's life at the start of the episode. The lyrics, I find are extremely apt:

Beautiful Loser...when you realize you just can't have it all?
-Dean is obviously depressed. Even when he's smiling with Ben, it's melancholic. There's this constant weight on him and you can see it. Jensen does a remarkable job, of course, in portraying that aspect to Dean. He's not happy. He's trying very very hard to be happy, and he's doing a remarkable job of it. But I think it comes down to what Dean told Sam before - he can't live with Sam dead, he just can't.

I'm pretty sure the beer scene with Sid is filmed inside the Blarney Stone pub down in Gastown. The exterior is someplace else though.

Sid has been drinking beer with Dean for a year, doesn't know anything about him. I think this is another sign of Dean's depression. The thing is, no matter what, Dean is isolated. Just like in his youth, he's still the freak - only this time he's the freak without a past, who drinks too much and has nightmares, and is so very sad.

"You get to work with a partner. You get to help people. You have no idea what's in some people's walls - it could eat them alive."
-Pest Control. I love that cover. I also love that we get to see Dean reminisce about Hunting. It's the same thing he liked about Hunting way back in S1 - saving people. But, I think, more importantly "you get to work with a partner."

"Call it a hunch...I've been a cop for a long time."
-I always love when the boys are compared to military/cops.

Barefeet!Dean
-More please! I know there's a quote from someone in the fandom somewhere about how Supernatural has turned all of us into Victorians, where a flash of an ankle gets us all hot and bothered....but it's true. These boys wear so many layers, any skin we don't normally get to see, we drool over.

"Dean! Is that a gun!"
"No, well, yeah, but I got a permit."
"To shoot the Glickmans' dog?"
-Haha, I kind of like Sid. (Also, nice Nirvana shirt, Sid).

"Possoms carry rabies"
"I did not know that!"
"Yeah, possoms...possoms kill."
-Seriously, why'd you have to die Sid? Couldn't you hang around and produce more awkward moments for Dean?

"So, I just ran into Sid. Did you almost shoot a Yorkie?"
"Technically."
-I like how Dean is honest with Lisa - I also get the feeling that this isn't the first time he's freaked out about their safety (though, why he didn't force her to get a tattoo, I don't know.) But watching this episode now, he is ALWAYS honest with her. He might phrase things a certain way to keep her calm, but he always tells her the truth. I think that speaks a lot to how good their relationship was...and how good Lisa was for/to Dean.

"Be careful"
"Careful is my middle name"
-You don't have a middle name, Dean, and if you did, I would want it to be Marion.

Last appearance of the Leather Coat! *tears*
Where did that box get to anyway? Did they ever consult John's journal again in S6? I will have to watch for that. In my personal head-canon, Dean left his leather coat behind at Lisa and Ben's house. This will lead to much confusion when they eventually find it, and it'll make them nostaligic and sad, without them knowing why.

I also notice, as Dean begins to hallucinate, that he has sweat on his brow. I noticed this when he was stalking the hotel-under-construction too...I wonder if it is intentional? I think it must be. Like when Sam used to get visions, and he'd be all sweaty first.

"Did you really think you were going to get to keep all of this? You had to know we were coming for you sometime? You can't outrun your past."
-I like everything the YED says, because since it's just Dean's mind conjuring him, this is all Dean's subconscious speaking. I love psychological stuff like that.

I love the Sam reveal - the first thing Sam does is stab Dean in the chest. The second thing we see is a blurry/discombobulating side-ways shot. It speaks so much to what this season is going to be about.

"So I'm dead? This is heaven?"
-Aww, it's heartbreaking and touching that Dean automatically assumes that it must be heaven, because he has Sam back. The love.

"That was nasty."
-For some reason I love Sam's face when he drinks the water and says this. 

HUG! I think even Soulless!Sam likes getting hugs. Hence all the sex and hookers! Still, Real!Sam would have been all up in Dean's business the first thing back. Real!Sam could not delay the hugs.

I remember rationalizing the lack of emotion on Sam's part the first time I watched this - because I didn't get what was wrong with Sam...why he was so cold and distant the whole episode. It's so much more obvious now that I know he's soulless.

"You finally had what you wanted"
"I wanted my brother! Alive!"
"You wanted a family. You have for a long time - probably the whole time. I know you. You only gave it up because of the way we lived, but you had something and you were building something! Had I shown up, Dean, you would have just run off."
-Here we see that even Soulless!Sam cares for Dean. He might not know why, but I think caring for Dean is a fundamental part of Sam - body, mind, and soul. I know he jeopardizes him in future episodes, but he does it with the belief that he can save Dean from the jeopardy. It's true, Real!Sam would have reunited with Dean immediately, because his own emotions would not have allowed him to be happy away from Dean...but Soulless!Sam has the luxery of actually being selfless sometimes...which is kind of an odd thing to say.

"You? Working with strangers?"
"They're more like family..."
-Haha, it's true, I think the last time they tried to work with strangers, Gordan ended up hunting Sam...or, you know, Ruby made him start the apocalypse. Sam and anyone-other-than-Dean do not mix well. :P

"3rd cousin, 3rd cousin, something-something-twice removed."
-Haha, sorry, I just like the "something-something-twice removed." Personally, I've been to family gatherings where it's like that...'I am related to you somehow, so now we must have an awkward conversation, because we don't actually have anything in common.'

I also like that Gwen says that Sam goes on and on about Dean. I thought that was cute. See, maybe I'm crazy, but I really do think that somewhere in his brain, Soulless!Sam loved his brother - even if he couldn't feel the emotion of it.

"I thought all of mom's family were gone...and I'm sorry, it's just, why the hell didn't we know about any of you?"
"Because they didn't know about you?"
-Thanks! This question was actually bugging me. I didn't realize that it was in the first frickin' episode. Though, my next question is: How the hell could hunters that grew up in the life NOT know about the Winchesters, and not know that Mary Winchester was a Campbell? I mean...well, I guess it's possible that they really didn't know that. They probably knew about the Winchesters, but not the Campbell part...and I guess they didn't know Bobby? That seems odd. Unless Bobby didn't know about the Campbell part of the Winchesters either? Man, there is a lot of not-knowing and missed-connections going on here!

Samuel+Dean Hug...unresponsive on Dean's side - haha. A second slightly awkward hug for the episode! "My dead grandfather is hugging me, and last time I saw him he was possessed by my worst nightmare...and when he wasn't, he was a crotchety old guy that controlled my mother's life..."

Sam's reveal to Ben and Lisa - SO IMPOSING. 
-Seriously, I had to bold that because it is so well done. I love the way Phil Sgriccia filmed that - the angle he used. Sam becomes the larger than life figure that he is. He's the single most important thing in Dean's life, and he has so much power because of that. I know it's not in this episode, but when Lisa says that as soon as Sam walked back into Dean's life, she knew it was over - I believe that. I cannot say enough about this scene.

"Damn it"
"It's good to see you too, Bobby"
"If you're here, something's wrong."
Bobby's reaction to seeing Dean again - I could watch a whole episode of Jim Beaver opening the door to different people. Seriously, I don't know if this is a deliberate callback to Lazarus Rising (4.01) but it should be - both times Dean is resurrected, of sorts, the first time it's a true resurrection, and this time it's the resurrection of Hunter!Dean.

"You knew, you knew Sam was alive..."
-Bobby looks so sorry and ashamed of himself, while Sam is like "la la la...conversation over yet?"

Bobby: "Because you got out Dean! You walked away from the life, and I was so damn grateful-"
Dean: "Do you have any idea what walking away meant for me?"
Bobby: "Yeah, a woman and a kid, and not getting your guts ripped out at age 30."
- Dean did have his guts ripped out at age 30, that's what I love about this line. Bobby KNOWS what losing Dean is like, he knows the grief, he knows every detail of it exactly, and I think it's one of his worst nightmares to go through it again...but he knows, as long as Dean's hunting, that he's going to have to eventually go through it again - unless he dies first.
- I also love this line because I think Bobby is a lot like Dean. He had his woman, he might have wanted a kid...and it was all taken away from him. I think he'd love to have it back.

Dean to Sam: "That woman and that kid, I went to them because you asked me too"
Bobby: "Good"
Dean: "Good for who? I showed up on their doorstep half our of my head with grief. God knows why they even let me in! I drank too much, I had nightmares. I looked everywhere, I collected hundreds of books trying to find anything to bust you out."
Sam: "You promised you'd leave it alone."
Dean: "Of course I didn't leave it alone, so sue me! A dang year - you couldn't put me out of my misery."
- Oh man, I would have loved to have seen some good h/c scenes with Dean having nightmares...sigh. Ah well. 
- I do love this line though, this angry rant that shows us what it's been like for Dean - and also shows us that he might have fulfilled the promise to go to Lisa and Ben, but he was never going to fulfill the promise of not trying to save Sam.

"It's as close to happiness as I've ever seen a hunter get. I didn't want to lie to you, son, but you were out, Dean."
"Do I look out to you?"
- First off, love the fact that Bobby calls Dean son and means it in all sincerity.
- Secondly, Hunting is pretty much impossible to get out of, because it's like gaining knowledge. You can't unknow thing. Dean could stay with Lisa forever, but he wouldn't be able to read the newspaper - he would always point a gun at the sounds he heard in the night. He would always, always, know that at any moment something could show up and kill them. Being a Hunter is living in a constant war, where the battleground is everywhere. You can't get out, not really...all you can do is lay down your arms and wait for the inevitable. And perhaps that IS as close to happiness as a Hunter can get - laying down their arms and trying to be happy while they wait, but it doesn't mean that they're out.

"I should have know that if I stayed with you that something would come, because something always does - but I was stupid and wreckless. You can't outrun your past."
"You're saying goodbye."
"I'm saying I'm sorry for everything."
- Firstly - Dean echoing the words of his subconscious - awesome.
- Secondly - This is very much like Dean's eventual final goodbye to Lisa in Let It Bleed (6.21)...when he is actually saying "sorry for everything." It's sad that he takes away Lisa's ability to argue with him by then, to point out that he has nothing to be sorry for. In Dean's mind though, with Dean's self-esteem, he believes that being with him is a burden, that he really does need to apologize for not being perfect, for not having all the answers or always saving the day, or being able to give his loved ones the life they deserve.  

"Everything. You're an idiot. I know it wasn't greeting card perfect, but we were in it together."
"I was a wreck half the time."
"Well a guy that basically just saved the world shows up on your door, you expect him to have a couple of issues."
- I love Lisa. This is exactly why she was good for Dean. People have criticized the relationship, because they barely had one, yet she still took him in. But what would you do, honestly? You have a one-weekend stand around the age of 20. He shows back up later and is good with your kid, and still hot and infatuated with you, and he SAVES your kid - you learn that he basically rescues people for a living. You learn that he is inherently GOOD. And then two or so years later, he's back, and he's broken, and the world is coming to an end, but he's going to fix it...and he DOES, but he's even more broken. Would you honestly turn him away? Personally, I don't think I could live with myself if I did. I might not sleep with him, but I would certainly want to look after him. I would owe him that much just for saving my kid before. I guess, to those people who don't understand how Lisa could have done it - well, I'll make a note not to show up on your doorstep if I ever need some help. :P

"You were always so amazing with Ben. You know what I wanted, more than anything, was a guy that Ben could look up to, like a Dad. So you're saying it's all bad Dean? Because it was the best year of my life."
- Other people have complained about this line too - how can it be the best year of her life when Dean was a wreck half the time and nearly a stranger? Oh, I don't know, maybe because Dean was really good with her kid, and after years of feeling like she failed her son because he had no father-figure, she finally felt like her life was starting to come together in some way.

Jumping ahead now - There's a coy smile that Gwen has when Dean tells of Christian...it would have been nice if she wasn't eventually killed for no reason. I mean, not to be complainy about the lack of female characters, because I've always been of the opinion that in an equal world, you should be allowed to have a show with only men in it...but but...Gwen had a lot of potential to be pretty awesome. Even if she does piss me off in the very next scene by questioning Dean's masculinity.

"You don't know what you're a part of, Dean. You know, you had ancestors hacking the heads off of vamps on the Mayflower. What I'm saying is that we're your blood, and we're out there dying, trying to get in front of whatever this is. Maybe not the best time for golf."
-Who is Samuel? I think this is another shame of the season - that we never got to see what Samuel would have been like if he wasn't working for Crowley, if he hadn't already lived for months with Soulless!Sam and hardened his heart towards his grandchildren...if he wasn't desperate to get his daughter back. Because that's the Samuel that we're seeing - it's like being introduced to Sam as a character when Dean is dead...he's desperate and not rational. He's doing things that go against both his own morals and the loved-one's that he lost, because he thinks that the ends will justify the means. 

Really these are the two main themes of the season: 1)The ends don't justify the means, and 2)Blood doesn't mean anything. Family is a CHOICE! (And my god, the second theme is one of my favourites. It's actually what my unfinished novel is about...I've probably said this before.)

Sid...*tears*
An Ode To Sid: 
You were Dean's friend,
Though you did not know him
Well; you had nice eyes,
Though you did not see
Those Djinn sneaking up on you.
I liked your Nirvana shirt.

YED
Dean hallucinates the YED, because the YED attacks families with children. In Dean's mind he's the destory of Dean's family, the being that essentially ruined Dean's life. I just love how in character this hallucination is - because yes, Dean has faced down far greater foes since then, but it's always your childhood fear that never leaves you...and for Dean, that's whatever the thing was that killed his mother and destroyed his family, even if he didn't have a name or a face for it until he was in his late-twenties.

"I guess I just wish you were coming."
"Why?"
"Don't be stupid."
"...I did something seriously stupid going over there. I could have got us both killed."
"That's exactly why I want you. You just went. You didn't hesitate, because you care. Me? I wouldn't even think to try."
"Yes you would."
"No, Dean, I'm telling you. It's just better with you around. That's all."
- I think the important thing to remember here is that Sam doesn't KNOW what's wrong with him. He doesn't even have the capacity to see it as "wrong", he knows there's something different about him, but that Dean is the same. I think the idea that Sam doesn't know what's wrong with him is unsettling to him. Yes, he's keeping the fact that he's different from Dean, so maybe he does know that it's not something good...that Dean would freak out if he knew...but still, I do believe Sam when he says that he wants Dean around. I also still hold onto the notion that the need for Dean is so ingrained in Sam's psyche that even Soulless!Sam has it.

"She should be hunting, take her."
"Thanks, really, but I got my car set up how I like it."
-Oh man, the turning down of the Impala. Dean is giving Sam their childhood home, the only home they've ever known...and Sam is turning it down. Yeah, red flag.

Aborted wave...sad face.


What an end to a season opener. I can see why some people flipped their lids. :P

Tags:

Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
harrigan
Sep. 26th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this! (And so many of your other posts...)

I'd like to friend you so I can keep up!
hells_half_acre
Sep. 26th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
Go ahead and friend me! A lot of people do so without asking, so I'm perfectly alright with it :)

I'm glad you enjoy my posts!
dairygirl
Sep. 26th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
I never thought about how indicative the moment of Dean offering the Impala to Sam was until you mentioned it but you are right. Souled Sam would know what that means. Soul-free Sam reacts quite differently. There were only small hints in this episode, enough to make people suspicious but not enough to diagnose the problem.

Totally true about the Victorian parallel.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 26th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
Yes, I think that final scene between the two brothers was the biggest hint of all - both with Dean's "yes, you would" to Sam saying that he wouldn't have thought to try to save the neighbours, and the refused gift of the Impala.
katsheswims
Sep. 26th, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
This episode did upset me when I first watched it, but that's what it was MEANT to do. We were supposed to be unsettled and questioning. I was still anxious to watch more.

I can understand where both Lisa and Dean come from in terms of their relationship, though that still doesn't mean I approve of it. But if they helped each other and were happy I can't hate that. Though Dean could never be happy without Sam, maybe content-but it would take a long while to get there. Luckily Sam came back and they were reunited, even though they still had many problems to go through.

I also understand where Bobby was coming from, but I'm still upset he didn't tell Dean that Sam was alive. He KNOWS those two. So he understood that Sam was staying away to try and give Dean a life without hunting (a 'better life'), but he also knows that Dean would rather sell his could than live without Sam. I can't see how he reconciled that in his mind.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 26th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
Yes, very true, the episode IS meant to upset. It was a pretty bold move by the writers.

No, Dean could never be happy without Sam - but I think it means something that he tried very very hard to be.

I really think Sam must have talked Bobby into some sort of twisted logical loop in order to get him to agree not to tell Dean - because as soon as Dean starts yelling at Bobby, you can TELL that Bobby knew it was wrong..yes, he still gives his reasons why he did it, but deep down you can tell that he knows he deserves Dean's anger.
missyjack
Sep. 26th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
One of my fav episodes! I totally agree about the Lisa and Dean relationship - I think the ep deftly illustrate how honest that r'ship has been, that lisa well knows why Dean needs to draw devils traps under the rug, and that this is clearly not the first time he's thought something is after them. I think the fact that he was in an environment where he felt understoof was so important.

I never understood why people either didn't think Lisa should've taken him in, or that it couldn't have been a good year for her (I think 'best year' was hyperbole on her part, she was trying to convince him to stay after all!) Certainly in my social circle, taking in someone who's fallen on hard times wouldn't be extraordinary, and being part of someone healing can be an amazing thing.

And Sam - I think you make an important point about Sam not knowing whats wrong with him. I certainly think he knows he's different, but that he's choosing not to dig at it, because he's fine with how he is. But still, sans soul and everything Dean is important to him. That non-hug they have? Sam still smiles (creepily). Something about being with Dean just feels right!

(god I could go on... really i need to be there and have the rewatch with you!)
hells_half_acre
Sep. 26th, 2011 02:34 am (UTC)
I think the fact that he was in an environment where he felt understoof was so important.

Yes, this!

(I think 'best year' was hyperbole on her part, she was trying to convince him to stay after all!) Certainly in my social circle, taking in someone who's fallen on hard times wouldn't be extraordinary, and being part of someone healing can be an amazing thing.

Yes, same with my social circle. And yes, I do think "best year" is a bit of hyperbole, but I think you need hyperbole to try to get through to Dean that he's not a waste of space or a burden :P

And you SHOULD do the rewatch with me. Come on over! It's just me and the two cats that I'm looking after over here :P
gryphenn
Sep. 26th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC)
I'm trying to figure out if Dean's possum line is a deliberate blooper (Dean hunts ghosts and demons - not critters)or if the writers really didn't know rabies is actually RARE because possums have a naturaly low body temp.

I am going with deliberate - that just makes the whole awkward scene that much more funny.

And, yes, it was too bad Sid couldn't be kept around for more Awkward!Dean :)
hells_half_acre
Sep. 26th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
Haha, either way, that's hilarious. I guess that's why Sid didn't know that possoms supposedly carried rabies! :P
borgmama1of5
Sep. 26th, 2011 03:05 am (UTC)
Rewatching with what we know now--what a difference it makes!

Looking forward to your re-review of the season!
hells_half_acre
Sep. 26th, 2011 03:16 am (UTC)
HUGE difference! Haha, it's why I do the rewatch ;)
franztastisch
Sep. 26th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
I think you are the only person who could make me like season 6. Cos I'm not gonna lie, I didn't really like it. I mean, it was fine. But just... below the standard SPN had set for itself with seasons 1-5. There are episodes I love (...And Then There Were None) and would watch again but overall... no. And I think it's because of 3 things; Sam was soulless for too long, I didn't like what they did to Castiel as a character, and I didn't like what they did with Lisa and Dean's relationship. And out of all these, Dean and Lisa's relationship was the one that bugged me the most. And someone on tumblr finally said what it was that annoyed me about it: it seemed forced. I didn't really like Lisa when she was introduced as a character, but this episode made me see her in a new light. I respected her after this episode. But then they began the whole "Dean and Lisa are in love" thing and... no. Just no. I don't think Dean was in love with Lisa. I don't think Lisa was in love with Dean. I think they loved each other, and Dean certainly loved Ben, but I don't think they were in love. And with that they ruined Lisa for me again. And I really don't want to hate her, because she did so much for Dean, but the writing sort of... made me.

And wow, that had nothing to do with anything. Sorry! Great re-watch though. :D
hells_half_acre
Sep. 26th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
I didn't notice them trying to say that Dean was in love with Lisa...I will have to keep an eye out for that. I know that Dean was in love with the idea of Lisa, of having a family. And I do agree that they loved each other to some extent - friends who slept together. I had a relationship like that once, and even though I wasn't in love, I still get nostalgic over it, I still feel a measure of broken-heartedness that it couldn't continue indefinitely.

But, yeah, Lisa was written a little inconsistently, because I don't see the Lisa of 6.01 freaking out as much as the Lisa of 6.05...and man, Dean was lucky she was single the times he came to visit her, because all of a sudden she has no problem finding another man... :P

But now I'm getting off topic!
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borgmama1of5
Oct. 21st, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
Okay! I finally got to start my season 6 rewatch and then I reread this. Figure I will leave my reactions here:

When Dean wakes from his dream and Lisa asks if he's okay, he has a rueful smile which I interprete as 'I'm never gonna be really okay but if I didn't have a hole in my heart when every day I think of Sam in Hell, I would be okay'...I didn't see the broken man from the end of "Swan Song" there. I saw a man who could almost be happy, who had started to come to terms with his grief, and from the montage following I saw Dean as finding satisfaction at being with Lisa and Ben and having a 'normal' life. While he was still evading the 'truth' with Sid in the bar, Dean also looked relaxed. This is what he does now.

All of which made me realize that the moment he woke to see Sam alive that Dean was royally screwed, because Dean is an all-or-nothing guy.

I am still perplexed by how Sam's initial interaction with Dean is 'I stayed away so you could be normal' but as soon as there is a glitch in that plan Sam's response is the blanket statement that Dean can't have normal after all and Dean should come with Sam. Period. So for all Sam claimed he wanted Dean happy, that's why he stayed away for a year, Sam reverses that position really fast.

Even knowing now that Sam is soulless doesn't make the whiplash from that swtich any more understandable.

I think it was the second nightmare with YED, where Lisa ends up in flames and Ben drinks demon blood to parallel Sam's corruption from innocence that sent Dean back into angst 'it's all my fault' overload which he is still dealing with in episode 7.04...and undoubtedly beyond. It was clarifying and heartbreaking to see where his downward spiral started, because I think he was on the road to being able to live with himself because Lisa didn't judge him.

And here is the start of his guilt over not being omniscient--'I should have known' to Lisa while at Bobby's. :(

Samuel Campbell's character makes no sense even knowing the reveals from later. (The whole Campbell arc still makies no sense...and how could demon!Christian have flown under the radar so long?)

Last two thoughts:
I think you are right that even soulless!Sam had an instinctive feeling that things were better when Dean was present--"It's just better with you around" rings true even in hindsight.

And lastly, the moment that Jensen pulled off exquisitely: 'So I'm dead? Is this heaven?' when he sees Sam. What a mix of emotions in just how he said those few words--all the healing he'd started to do with Lisa and Ben was totally ripped away, leaving him adrift again...only now we know that he won't be able to replace the loss of the Braedens with the return of Sam because it isn't really Sam.

Unconscionably cruel to do to someone, even if he is fictional! *shakes fist at writers for the whole season*

Break my heart...
hells_half_acre
Oct. 21st, 2011 06:09 am (UTC)
I saw a man who could almost be happy, who had started to come to terms with his grief, and from the montage following I saw Dean as finding satisfaction at being with Lisa and Ben and having a 'normal' life.

True, there was also that pervasive melancholy there. I see more of the healing in the way Dean interacts with Lisa - and as the season progresses, you see him sink more and more away from that healing. Which sucks, because, as you say, Dean is an all or nothing kind of guy.

Even knowing now that Sam is soulless doesn't make the whiplash from that swtich any more understandable.

Very true. Though, I saw it as more that Sam just ASSUMED that once Dean saw Sam, he would want to return to being with Sam - just like you said, Dean is all or nothing. it's why Sam stayed away. So, I figure that it was more of an assumption than a wish...if that makes sense.

Samuel Campbell's character makes no sense even knowing the reveals from later. (The whole Campbell arc still makies no sense...and how could demon!Christian have flown under the radar so long?)

Yeah, I think they could have done something different with the Campbells - or at least, made them a bit more logical/cohesive with the story.

Unconscionably cruel to do to someone, even if he is fictional!

Indeed. The first half of the season is tough to watch.
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The Damned and the Saved
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Hell's Half Acre

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