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Quick Reaction: 9x13 The Purge

Aptly named episode tonight for so many reasons...

No wine tonight, but that doesn't mean my memory is going to be any better - so yeah, keep in mind this is only after watching the episode once, about an hour ago and then walking home in the cold cold night. So, quotes will not be exact and I might get some events out of order...

So, we begin at a hot dog eating contest. I find food contests to be pretty disgusting... I also find people getting the fat sucked out of them to be pretty disgusting. Basically, everything about the MOTW this week was disgusting. I will say though that sfx and vfx did a fantastic job! I was so disgusted.

Anywho, hot-dog dude cheats! Did anyone catch the black dude's reaction in the crowd shot to the "that's not a hotdog in my pocket" line? It was the best. New favourite extra.

Then dude gets killed...and it's gross.

Cut to Sam and Dean! Dean is looking horrible and hasn't slept. He stayed up all night watching Rudy and then Unforgiven(?). Rudy, I wholeheartedly approve of - I love that movie. Really though, he obviously stayed up all night feeling sad. :( And then Sam asks if he's feeling sad because of what Sam said, and Dean's like "no", and Sam is like, "good, because I was just being honest." SAM THAT IS NOT A COMFORT! Why don't you rub a little salt into that wound, dude. You're supposed to SOFTEN hard honesty blows, not press on the bruise!

But he's found the weird hot-dog death, so it's off to take a whore's bath for Dean....hehe, I love Sam's face at that name. But it's a term I grew up hearing a lot, so I kind of love that Dean used it.... and then it's off to Stillwater Minnesota, where they meet the most adorable Sheriff ever!!

Seriously, she's ADORABLE. I love the fact that they actually gave her an accent for the region. Same with whatshisface - the skinny hotdog-dude.

Blah blah blah, investigating. Skinny dude's wife is Roma... so Sam suspects that she put a curse on fat hotdog dude... and steals the evidence. Which she then comes to retrieve, and they find out that she was cheating on her husband and didn't kill fat hotdog dude at all.

Then another murder - this time a woman trying to get skinny for her wedding day. SIDEBAR PSA: Listen, guys, you shouldn't try to get skinny for your wedding day - it's not about what you look like, it's about who you are marrying. Also, it really annoys me that when she gets on the scale she complains about how she's GAINED weight. If you work out, you will gain muscle. Especially if she's lifting weights, which she was at least doing a little of... you can lose inches and gain weight REALLY easily. I've done it before myself, where I put on five pounds and went down a size in all my clothes. Never judge your "health": on the number on the scale. Judge it by how you feel. You can be large and healthy, and you can be slim and weigh a lot.

Anyway, Sam and Dean investigate and find a weird suction mark. Then Dean takes over the "talk to the pretty girl" part of the job, because Sam is awkward with women... Dean is "just being honest." NICE! Hahaha...

Then the plot thickens, because she has a suction mark too, but she's not dead!!

Dean does research and discovers that the trainer girl had been to the Canyon Valley Spa....where people are losing weight miraculously! So, it's off to go undercover as fitness trainers.

Dean overcompensates in the interview and comes off as way too harsh, so it's Sam that actually gets the fitness trainer job... but since it's a spa and not a fitness camp, he just teaches yoga.

And then after 9 years, we finally get Sam in shorts and a tanktop. Hahaha... NICE!

Meanwhile, Dean is put on kitchen duty... and it's all "rabbit food" that he doesn't like, so he can't even enjoy snacking! The blows just keep coming for our poor Dean.

I loved the conversation between him and Sam, where uh...what was his name? Raoul? Anyway, Raoul accuses him of flirting. And I love that when Dean asks Sam what he even knows about yoga, Sam says "you aren't the only one who's spent a weekend with someone bendy." Hahaha... the funny thing is that I'm willing to bet that Dean didn't learn any yoga on his weekend with Lisa, whereas Sam obviously did with whatever girl he was with - which means that Sam actually spent at least part of the weekend ACTUALLY DOING YOGA! So, yeah, still not cool in Dean's eyes, there Sam.

Obviously though, Sam doesn't know that much about yoga, since he's very awkward about it and doesn't know that most people don't hold poses for longer than a minute max. While he checks their poses - he realizes that they ALL have suction marks.

Oh, while all this is happening, our adorable Sheriff friend is at the spa! She's getting her spa treatment, which is "cupping" - which, is an actual chinese-thing, I think... that I don't believe in at all, so I won't say anything else. I will say though that I don't think it sucks THAT much skin up into the cup, that was gross. I could be wrong though, because it's not like I've ever done it (or ever will do it.) The sheriff falls asleep suspiciously fast and then the spa lady SUCKS FAT OUT OF HER WITH HER WEIRD TONGUE! It is super super gross.

Meanwhile, Dean is hungry...and Raoul (I am calling him Raoul) puts him in charge of the pudding....well, the pudding is the only thing on the menu that Dean likes, so yeah... he eats it. Listen, Dean, I'm not calling into question your professionalism here, but do you really think it's wise to eat ANYTHING at a place that might be killing people?!?! I wouldn't.

And sure enough, it's NOT wise. Dean finds himself very drugged. So, he calls Sam. Sam, who's cover is accidentally blown by the Sheriff. Oops. Drugged Dean is pretty hilarious. Sam eventually finds him in the basement next to the sweet potatoes - and then Sam goes on a rampage in the kitchen to find out what's in the pudding. The chef claims their "supplements", but when Sam shows them to Dean, Dean confirms that they are actually roofies. I love Dean's reasoning for knowing what roofies look like - "I don't want to end up in a bathtub with my kidneys missing...in Chechnya". Hahaha... on the one hand, it's hilarious because it's a ridiculously paranoid reason, on the other hand, it's potentially heartbreaking, because it's probably just the story he gives because the real reason is that Dean's a very very pretty man who hangs out in a lot of very very sketchy places...and has done since he was a teenager.

Anyway, Sam gets him an energy drink and makes sure he's going to be okay... and then it's off to talk to the Sheriff.

Meanwhile, spa husband of spa lady has raided the Impala's glove compartment! Oh no! He's found the fake badges and knows that they're hunters...and we as an audience discover that it's not spa lady doing the murdering in town, it's someone else...

Sam and Dean talk to the Sheriff, who has only been at the spa one day, but has already lost 10 pounds! Aside PSA: If you lose 10 pounds in a single day, go to the doctor immediately. It is time to freak the fuck out, because you are dying. According to my friend, who knows more about human health then I do, it's healthy to lose 2 pounds per week...but if you lose more than that through diet restriction, you are doing is slowing down your metabolism, so it'll be even easier to gain all that weight back and possibly more.

Spa lady is trying to dump the evidence....which is apparently containers of human fat... SO GROSS...before Sam and Dean find them. Aside PSA: If you are trying to destroy evidence, do not put it in the trash. FLUSH IT! My god. Changing it's location in your house is not going to change the fact that it is still in your house.

Spa lady confesses to Dean that she's a fish taco... hahahaha...that's what I heard too. I think it's pishtaco? Anyway, it's a Peruvian fat-sucker. SUPER GROSS! But it's not her doing the killing, it's...dun dun dun... HER BROTHER!

I'm glad it's her brother, because for a moment there I was really worried that her and spa husband had somehow had a kid (I don't even know how that would work genetically) and this would be an episode about killing children or something... but it makes WAY more sense for it to be an episode about siblings betraying each other.

While all this is going on, spa husband is getting murdered by Raoul. Sucks to be spa husband, but seriously, I'm not sure how he thought that was going to go. I mean, you find out your brother in law is capable of murder, you probably don't want to threaten to kick him out with force...you probably want to do what spa lady did and tell the hunters how to kill him. Maybe they could have even made up some story - like Raoul was holding them hostage and coming into the cupping-sessions or something.

Also, am I the only one who couldn't stop giggling whenever they said "cupping" because...um...cupping. I'm twelve, apparently.

Anyway, Sam finds murdered spa husband, and tells spa lady... who they have tied up for safe keeping. And spa lady tells them how to kill Raoul to prove that she is on their side.

So, it's off to kill Raoul. Raoul has killed the chef too, because hey, why not. Then he beats the shit out of Sam, and Sam gets strangled, because it's Tuesday...and then Dean flies in for the rescue and chops Roaul's tongue out, which kills him, apparently.

Then it's the aftermath... Sam and Dean feed a story about a crazy psycho-killer to the Sheriff.... and spa lady has had her entire family murdered in one day.

And then Dean wants to kill her - and this is the part of the episode that both me and my friend had a problem with, because SERIOUSLY!? Can we not get a little consistency on this issue? Is Dean the type of person who sees things in black and white - monster=bad, human=good...or is he the type of guy who can leave monsters who aren't hurting anyone in peace?!! I understand them going back and forth on this issue between seasons, but IT'S BEEN ONE EPISODE! Dean let Garth and his family live JUST LAST WEEK. What's so special about spa lady that she suddenly has to die?! She feeds, humans lose weight... it's win win! It's practically the perfect symbiotic relationship! And fine, he's trying to be "professional" like Sam asked - slightly misinterpreting what Sam meant - and thinking that "professional" hunters always kill the monster. But, then when Sam disabuses him of that notion, Dean then SEND HER BACK TO PERU?!!? Seriously?! She's got to leave the whole country and give up this awesome spa that she founded?!! How is THAT fair?! I would have been fine with it if she was like "My whole family is dead. I think I'll go back to Peru. I don't want to be here anymore." But to MAKE her go?! Ugh... just, be consistent. Either Dean has changed after purgatory and lets monsters live now if they're good people, or for some reason he's on a murdering kick, but don't vacillate!

Anyway...rant over... sorry... I know I don't usually complain that much, but that really annoyed me.

Now we get to the actual Purge in this episode, because the guys go back to the bunker and have a talk in the kitchen. And I thought it was really interesting that they're talks were all in the kitchen in this episode. I think the library must be a symbol of their unity or something...like, maybe with them fighting, they're just going back and forth between their separate rooms and the kitchen and that's it... no more hanging out together in the library.

But, right, the actual purge of the episode...and the one that is needed... it's super super harsh, but the Winchesters actually start TALKING about their problems, and I think that despite the way this conversations feels devastating, all that stuff NEEDED to be said. They needed to get all their feelings out and in the open so that they can hopefully start again from a healthier place.

Dean tells Sam that he saved him, that he saved him from the pishtaco, and he saved him in the church, and he saved him with Gadreel, and he'd do it all again. Sam tells him that's the problem... The fact that there isn't anything that Dean wouldn't put in front of Sam is actually Sam's issue....because now that Sam's had a chance to think about it, had a chance to actually SEE the consequences, he realizes that Dean shouldn't be doing that.

And I'm preemptively cringing at the amount of Sam-hate I'm bound to see everywhere, and I'm also cringing at the comments I might get - but I actually agree with Sam here. I see exactly what he's saying... it was a selfish decision for him to decide to live in that church instead of ridding the world of demons forever. Not only that, but Sam has years of stacked up evidence that him living is a bad thing... Dean saving him in S2 started them on the road to the apocalypse. Cas trying to save him in S6 not only let Soulless!Sam onto the world, but also destroyed Dean's chance at a normal life with Lisa and Ben.... Dean telling Sam he loved him and making him want to live again at the end of S8, meant that hell didn't get closed... Dean saving him with Gadreel in the hospital meant that Kevin died, Dean saving him FROM Gadreel meant that Crowley is now free instead of locked up. Dean not letting Sam die is NOT a good thing.

(And it also brings us back to S8, since this would have been a MUCH better reason for Sam not look for Dean when he disappeared and seemed to be dead....though, I still think Sam would have looked for Kevin at the very least... so I still have issues with that arc in S8.)

Which brings us back to S5, with Bobby asking Dean "Are you afraid of losing? Or are you afraid of losing your brother?" And Sam basiclaly repeats the same thing here - is Dean saving Sam to do something nice for Sam? Or is he saving Sam because Dean is desperate not to be alone.

But right, let's get back to the scene... because Dean tells Sam that Sam would have done the same if it were Dean - and Sam admits that no, he wouldn't. And this is devastating for poor Dean, who has lived his WHOLE LIFE based on the idea that self-sacrifice is how you show your love. Seriously, think about Dean's life....all he ever does is make sacrifices for his family, because he loves them. It's not exactly healthy, but it's all he knows. And it's true he didn't sell his soul this time around, but is was still a self-sacrifice...it was the self-sacrifice of Dean's morals, really.

Sam telling him that he WOULDN'T do everything under the sun to get Dean back is a kick in the nuts... but again, I have to say it makes perfect sense, because back in S4, Sam DID do everything under the sun to get Dean back...and it ended with him drinking demon blood... and the whole kill-Lilith mission was about revenge for killing Dean... it didn't matter that Dean was alive again, Sam was still in "avenge my brother's death" mode. And I mean, who wouldn't be after watching the person you love most in the world get torn apart in front of you and then finding out they had also been tortured in hell for 40 years. The lesson Sam brought away from that was that there needed to be limits on what they would do for each other.

But, yeah, Dean's been kicked in the teeth, because he thinks Sam doesn't love him like he loves Sam...which goes right back to his S1 insecurities.

And it's hard, because I also feel for Dean... I mean, what's his measure? They both agreed that killing the YED wasn't more important than each other's lives... they also both agreed that defeating Lucifer and stopping the apocalypse WAS more important than Sam's life. Sam was the only one who could do that though, so it makes sense. Sam ISN'T the only one that can close hell.... some other hunter could take that bullet for the team any day. But then, saving Sam using an untrustworthy angel... how does that factor in? Dean thought "Ezekiel" was trustworthy at the time, because Cas said he was good... is the fact that Dean was tricked important? Is honouring Sam's decisions more important than Sam's life? Technically, Dean WAS honouring Sam's decision because Sam wanted to live when they were in the church, it was only when he was in the coma and thought he was dying that he accepted death... so, did Dean really violate a do-not-resuscitate order? Or was he perfectly within his right to try an experimental treatment on his terminal brother based on their previous conversions? Is Sam right to blame Dean for his own survivor's guilt?

(The other small problem we had with this scene is when Sam says "what if a hunter had found me as Gadreel and killed me, did I deserve to die then" or whatever he said... our issue was that hunters don't kill angels. Angels kill angels and there aren't seriously enough of those angel blades to go around. If there are, then I am mad.)

Anyway, now that Sam and Dean have had their huge completely honest purge of their feelings and their brotherhood has been successfully demolished...how do they build from here? What's the first step on the path to recovery?

As usual, let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comments below!

Comments

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liliaeth
Feb. 5th, 2014 09:12 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I felt like the ending of this ep was written with the intended purpose of making us hate Sam. What he said was almost criminal and utterly wrong. It's also totally self righteous and made me lose what little sympathy I had left for Sam after s8. if that's what passes for honest for Sam, then Sam urgently needs to get a clue or a hundred because that was like he was intentionally out to mentally destroy his brother and every single pillar of mental health his brother had left.

The only excuse I could find for his behavior is what someone said on tumblr, that maybe Sam's attitude is caused by the Mark of Cain which curses its wearer to be a lone wanderer without home or family.

(also, the brother's name was Alonso ;-))
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 09:22 am (UTC)
(also, the brother's name was Alonso ;-))

AH HAHahahahahaha... oh man, I had it so wrong. I kind of want to just leave it because I find it hilarious how badly I remembered it.

The only excuse I could find for his behavior is what someone said on tumblr, that maybe Sam's attitude is caused by the Mark of Cain which curses its wearer to be a lone wanderer without home or family.

That's an interesting theory!
vyperdd
Feb. 5th, 2014 09:28 am (UTC)
No Sam-hate from me, far from it. This ep has only made me love Sam more but yeah, the Sam-hatin' is in full swing in LJ land (I don't go on tumblr so can't say what it's like there) and it is nasty, nasty stuff. I've seen Sam being called mean and cruel and an a**hole.

I love what you've had to say here and I couldn't agree more with you. Plus you've given me a new and different train of thought in regards to Dean's reasons for his constant life-long mantra of 'must save Sammy'.

I'm really trying to see it from Dean's POV but I just can't agree with Dean that having Sam alive trumps everything, even Sam's right to make his own decisions regarding his life and body and mind. I mean would Dean accept Sam having as much control (pretty much the final say-so) over his life as he thinks he's allowed to have over Sam's??

That being said, I still think that Dean was wrong to manipulate Sam into being possessed. Using your Do Not Resuscitate idea, okay Dean may have believed that based on their church talk, Sam didn't want to die. However, Dean's first reason to say no to Gadreel's plan to heal Sam from inside is to say that Sam would never agree to that. So it's like Dean knows that Sam wouldn't want to be saved by using experimental treatment X and then to go ahead and use it anyway because he didn't want Sam to die. It is still going against Sam's wishes.

Anyways my comments are here if you want to take a look.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 09:43 am (UTC)
This ep has only made me love Sam more but yeah, the Sam-hatin' is in full swing in LJ land (I don't go on tumblr so can't say what it's like there) and it is nasty, nasty stuff. I've seen Sam being called mean and cruel and an a**hole.

Yeah, thankfully I don't follow many SPN blogs on tumblr (mainly because SPN fans can't seem to figure out how to tag for spoilers, and I have a VERY strict spoiler policy when it comes to SPN). But, I'm thinking I'll probably just stay away from the blogs until the brothers sort themselves back out again. :P

I mean would Dean accept Sam having as much control (pretty much the final say-so) over his life as he thinks he's allowed to have over Sam's??

This is the thing - I'm starting to think he WOULD. I'm starting to think that Dean doesn't KNOW he's doing things wrong, because he thinks that's how it's done. I mean, in 8x01, Sam pointed out that they had promised each other that they would move on if one of them died (or whatever the wording was), and Dean said, "yeah, but I thought we always ignored that because of our deep and abiding love for each other" - so, in Dean's mind, how you express your love is to keep your loved one alive at all costs...even, apparently, if it's against their will.

However, Dean's first reason to say no to Gadreel's plan to heal Sam from inside is to say that Sam would never agree to that. So it's like Dean knows that Sam wouldn't want to be saved by using experimental treatment X and then to go ahead and use it anyway because he didn't want Sam to die. It is still going against Sam's wishes.

Very true! Good point.

borgmama1of5
Feb. 5th, 2014 09:55 am (UTC)
My two cents:

Dean truly doesn't see Sam's problem with his agency being taken away from him because when Dean came off the rack in hell, he did abominable things of his own choice. That is the worst he can envision. So when Sam is upset that Dean took his choice away and Sam's body did evil things, Dean is unconsciously thinking 'what's the problem? It wasn't you choosing to do bad things, so no big deal.'

I am conflicted because from a purely realistic view what Sam said was right, Dean's decisions are about what Dean needs--a living Sam.

But from what I need from the show emotionally, I need to see Sam make a 'to hell with rationality, I gotta save Dean no matter what' choice...In season 3 Sam was torn to pieces over the prospect of Dean going to hell. And his statement that he wouldn't do 'anything' to save Dean is emotional growth...that I don't want to see :( I want my boys needing each other to live :(
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 10:12 am (UTC)
Dean truly doesn't see Sam's problem with his agency being taken away from him because when Dean came off the rack in hell, he did abominable things of his own choice. That is the worst he can envision. So when Sam is upset that Dean took his choice away and Sam's body did evil things, Dean is unconsciously thinking 'what's the problem? It wasn't you choosing to do bad things, so no big deal.'

Very astute character observation! I hadn't even thought of that, but it makes perfect sense.

In season 3 Sam was torn to pieces over the prospect of Dean going to hell. And his statement that he wouldn't do 'anything' to save Dean is emotional growth...that I don't want to see :( I want my boys needing each other to live :(

I can completely understand this - there's a certain amount of romance to their codependent relationship that feels satisfying and emotionally needed. At the same time, it's not actually healthy, no matter how much it feels "right" for them to be that way.

That being said, I too would like to see Sam rescue Dean more - it doesn't even have to necessarily be in some desperate scenario where he has to make a difficult moral choice - I just want Sam to be less of Dean's damnsel-in-distress. I'm hoping that whenever the Mark of Cain storyline kicks into gear that's where it will lead.

(Deleted comment)
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
dean couldn't cope when it was one dude dropping dead of a heart attack to save his life. sam's point of view should not be a difficult one for him to grasp, but it's like the writers would prefer to cast sam as the villain - again - while dean looks like the wounded victim whose brother doesn't love him as much as he loves sam.

Sam points this out to Dean in the talk - not with the specific example, but by saying that Dean is okay with sacrifice as long as HE'S the one doing the sacrificing. Dean is okay as long as SAM'S the one that is left alive. So, it's not so much against canon that Dean has a strict "what's dead should stay dead" policy when it comes to himself and a "save Sammy at all costs" policy when it comes to his brother.

I think the other important thing to remember is that the writers aren't casting Sam as the villain. The audience is. The writers are writing Sam honestly and it's the VIEWERS who decide who is bad and who is good. Yes, Jensen Ackles' sad face has a way of making us go all...protective and sympathetic. We tend to automatically understand his mindset more than we understand Sam's - there's a romance to Dean's view of the world that we've been trained our whole lives to accept...especially if you read fanfiction...unhealthy codependency is seen as romantic, rather than damaging to both parties involved. So, we have Dean with his woobie face and a romantic view of the world, and then we have Sam, with his angry face because he recognizes that he needs to love Dean in a healthier way... but since being healthy isn't painted with a romantic brush by society, we (and Dean) paints it as "less love" - when in fact a)you cannot quantify love, and b)it's just healthier love and hell, if we're going to quantify love anyway, I'd argue that wanting your relationship to be healthy shows more love then letting it stay weird and codependent.

ANYWAY, my point is that I don't think the writers are making Sam into a villain, I think the fans are because they like the really messed up romance of the codependent relationship... and Jensen Ackles has a pretty face and emotes good.

omg /rant. so sorry. i didn't mean to turn up all rage-frothy and just start yelling in your journal. i just have all these opinions. /o\

Ha! No worries. It's that sort of episode. ;)
missyjack
Feb. 5th, 2014 11:37 am (UTC)
I totally agree with your assessment of the brothers at this point.and again neither is right or wrong they just can't see things from the others' perspective at the moment..

also - where i come from a whore's bath is known as a gay shower!
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 08:25 pm (UTC)
also - where i come from a whore's bath is known as a gay shower!

Ha! That's hilarious.
raloria
Feb. 5th, 2014 12:53 pm (UTC)
Sucks to be spa husband...

LOL Indeed. :P

I think the library must be a symbol of their unity or something...like, maybe with them fighting, they're just going back and forth between their separate rooms and the kitchen and that's it... no more hanging out together in the library.

Oh, how sad is that? :(

(The other small problem we had with this scene is when Sam says "what if a hunter had found me as Gadreel and killed me, did I deserve to die then" or whatever he said... our issue was that hunters don't kill angels. Angels kill angels and there aren't seriously enough of those angel blades to go around. If there are, then I am mad.)

Actually, anyone can kill an angel. Even Meg was killing angels with the angel blade. ;)
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
Actually, anyone can kill an angel. Even Meg was killing angels with the angel blade. ;)

Like I said, if there are that many angels blades to go around, I call shenanigans. It makes sense for Crowley and Meg and the Winchester's to have them, because Crowley and Meg are demons and there was just an apocalypse - and the Winchester got theirs from Castiel. But no other hunters should have enough access to angels that they acquire them, nor be badass enough to TAKE them... and I really think that Sam and Dean are probably the only hunters investigating angel-related deaths and actually getting any headway, because usually they only make headway when Cas is with them.

Anyway, rant over... my point is that you don't buy angel blades at walmart.
(no subject) - raloria - Feb. 6th, 2014 04:30 am (UTC) - Expand
cappy712
Feb. 5th, 2014 01:28 pm (UTC)
I thought their talk at the end was the first time they talked and Dean was listening to Sam. Sam was right Dean saved him for Dean, not for Sam's benefit. Dean stopped Sam from finishing the trials for Dean not for Sam. Sam stopped for Dean not knowing that it was going to be the end of him but when it came to it he was ready to go and so ready that he was asking Death that there could be no deals to save him and that "no one can get hurt" paraphrasing - he knew that Dean would do something to try and get Sam back.

Sam knew the lengths that Dean would go to that was why he was making sure that there were no deals out this time.

The fact that Sam said he would not do the same to Dean was honest and basically an explanation as to why Sam didn't look for Dean when Dean ended up in Purgatory. Sam thought Dean died. He must have thought that Castiel and Dean died and went to heaven or wherever hunters go.

Let's face it too, Sam went through the trying to get Dean back in the Season 3 to season 4 hiatus and went through hell with it. He went and became less than human when he started drinking Demon blood for his powers into order to get Lilith. He was so focused on it and wanted to get revenge. Learning from that might be why we saw Sam not looking too and the fact was Sam was distraught and went driving, hit a dog and met Dr. vet...... That's a better explanation then it was before.

Have to say Dean's face when Sam said that - Dean didn't hear Sam - he heard the soulless Sam - I don't really care about you..... that's what is going to be interesting to see what they do and where they go from here.
ramblin_rosie
Feb. 5th, 2014 02:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, what Dean heard was:
1. I wish I were dead.
2. I would let you die.
3. I don't love you.

That's not what Sam meant, I'm sure, but that's what Dean heard--and I'm more convinced than ever that the late-season arc is going to have to involve Sam saving Dean in order to correct that misapprehension, because otherwise Dean's going to self-destruct.
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Feb. 5th, 2014 08:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Feb. 5th, 2014 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
jeymien
Feb. 5th, 2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
My reaction after that episode: It was Dean who needed the mystery spot intervention with the Trickster.. not Sam. Sam can let go - though maybe that's partly because of that? Dean.. it's proving that Dean's the co-dependant one. Which maybe makes sense.. after all, Sam's the one who managed to make a break from the family and go to college.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Dean's always been the more codependent out of the two of them, really. Sam DID need that intervention back then though, because what the Trickster was really trying to tell him was not to go down the dark-path with Ruby.

But it's BECAUSE Sam went down that path that he's learned that they need a healthier less codependent relationship.

Really, the Trickster should have gotten to Dean in S2...or John in S1, since he set the standard. :P
fannishliss
Feb. 5th, 2014 02:10 pm (UTC)
At one time I came up with this kickass title for an academic paper: "Victor, Vader, Voldemort: Fear of Death in the Byronic Anti-Hero." I never wrote the paper, but the main point is how an obsessive drive to defeat Death destroys the Hero, who began with great potential for good. (Victor Frankenstein and Anakin Skywalker both had huge potential for good, but their drive to conquer death led to horrific consequences. Not sure if Tom Riddle actually fits the bill...)

So in SPN, we literally have Death himself telling the Winchesters that their machinations to defeat Death have torn apart the natural order. (tho it actually started with the Angels' plan for Apocalypse... ) And wasn't it interesting how Death showed up in Sam's head? I'm still not sure if there is any way to determine whether it was *really* Death or just Sam's image of him -- but at any rate, it was Sam's conviction at that point that his own personal death would restore the natural order and that there would be no more deals. I think this is what bothers Sam most of all.

So I agree with you 100%. I was really shocked by Dean at the end of s8 when he pulled Sam back from completing the trials. Dean's fear of Sammy's death is undoing him. It goes all the way back to his tearful speeches in s1 and s2. He has no other belief in his own purpose other than to save Sammy, no matter what the cost. Now that cost has escalated all the way up to the very brotherly relationship he values first above all things. It's Sam's break for Stanford all over again, but on a more visceral level, because Sam is really letting Dean know that they can't go on in this truly messed up co-dependent fashion, and that Sam will indeed break the cycle if given a chance.

Both of the last two eps were thematically about betrayal within families, especially when monsters were involved. In the werewolf ep and in this ep, the creatures are trying to live amongst humans without feeding on them. In SPN, the definition of monster is "it wants to eat us" so if it doesn't eat us, it isn't a monster. Because spa lady was still technically feeding on human, Dean still checked her as a monster -- just like with the Amy Pond monster. Still waiting for the fallout on that kid btw. I always flash back to Dean learning from John that he might have to kill Sammy if he became a monster. Dean couldn't do it tho even when Sam was drinking blood. And he never will be able to give Sam up because he's hard wired that way.

I think it's very ambitious of the SPN team to go all the way back to basic principles like this. Sam wants autonomy. It's all he's EVER wanted. And Dean is hardwired to keep Sam safe. Is it even possible for him to change that without breaking completely? Like, (and I AM the huge Braeden fan) could Dean have ever survived with Lisa *as himself* not as a mournful shell??? What will it take to rewire Dean to regard Sam as someone who has (not should have, but ACTUALLY HAS) full autonomy??

I also think Sam still isn't speaking the same language as Dean and as a result comes across as pretty cruel. What Dean heard was "I wouldn't save you" which is a HUGE kick in the balls to Dean. When what I think Sam meant was "if the situation were reversed, I would abide by your wishes." Of course, Dean has a bit of a deathwish. He's always kind of longed to give his last breath to Sammy, to go out in a blaze of glory defending his Brother, so Sammy can live and Dean can be finally justified. I (selfishly?!?!) hope we don't ever get that.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 08:56 pm (UTC)
I never wrote the paper, but the main point is how an obsessive drive to defeat Death destroys the Hero, who began with great potential for good.

Very true and awesome potential paper! I don't think Voldemort fits into that narrative, but you could always keep him in the title and use Harry as the counter-example of a hero who DOESN'T try to defeat death and remains a hero. Though, not sure if that would fit either. Good thing you're not actually writing the paper! :P

In SPN, the definition of monster is "it wants to eat us" so if it doesn't eat us, it isn't a monster. Because spa lady was still technically feeding on human, Dean still checked her as a monster -- just like with the Amy Pond monster.

Good point.

Is it even possible for him to change that without breaking completely? Like, (and I AM the huge Braeden fan) could Dean have ever survived with Lisa *as himself* not as a mournful shell??? What will it take to rewire Dean to regard Sam as someone who has (not should have, but ACTUALLY HAS) full autonomy??

All very good questions and why I'm eager to see what happens with this storyline. When you have a character who is defined around another character as much as Dean is - who is he without that? He was never completely happy at Lisa's but that's because he was a broken mournful shell, as you say... would he have eventually moved past Sam's death and lived a fully realized independent life?

Because that's the thing with Dean - he doesn't see Sam as having independent will, because DEAN'S not independent. What's interesting about this story line is that by claiming his own autonomy, Sam's basically forcing independence upon Dean.

What Dean heard was "I wouldn't save you" which is a HUGE kick in the balls to Dean. When what I think Sam meant was "if the situation were reversed, I would abide by your wishes." Of course, Dean has a bit of a deathwish. He's always kind of longed to give his last breath to Sammy, to go out in a blaze of glory defending his Brother, so Sammy can live and Dean can be finally justified. I (selfishly?!?!) hope we don't ever get that.

Agreed 100%
khek
Feb. 5th, 2014 02:41 pm (UTC)
I think the whole problem is that both brothers are right from their own perspective, and that neither of them is willing to see it from the other's. Maybe "willing" isn't the word..."able" maybe. They've never talked to each other to see why they see things the way they do, they just make a lot of assumptions about how the other one thinks just like they do.

So this talk was a good start. But they have to keep talking, and explain to each other what's going on in their respective heads. And that would make for a kind of boring show--all talk and no action-- so I'm not sure that's ever going to happen. Maybe some angel or monster or something will show up and MAKE them see things from each other's perspective. I can't see it happening any other way, since the boys seem to be allergic to both talking and being in the same room lately.

And I'm with you on Dean's waffling between black and white and shades of grey. The writers need to talk to each other as much as the Winchesters do...and remember what has happened in the past! (Although I thought that was the showrunner's job.)
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 10:40 pm (UTC)
Agreed 100%

(In this case the showrunner is one of the writers, and I also know from interviews that writing on SPN is more of a collaborative process then the credits would have us believe - so SOMEONE has to be speaking up, whether it's Carver or someone else who has been there awhile and actually watched the show. :P)
supernutjapan
Feb. 5th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
Enjoyed reading!

Thank you for noticing that inconsistency with that awful "kill monsters" discussion. I couldn't believe my ears. It's the exact same conversation as Bloodlust... and Sam can't even give the proper answer. (we are hunting evil Dean - not monsters!) As you said, they just finished letting Garth and his pack live their lives and numerous others before him.

None of the Season 9 episodes seem to have any relation to each other. The Cas/Sam talk did not influence the Garth episode, and the Garth episode has not influenced this one at all either. REALLY?! Writers? Are you thinking at all?

I loved how you were able to think of both Sam and Dean's sides concerning the last talk. Thank you. That made it so much easier to see the whole picture.

But... the sudden jump from Sam in Season 8 - whose only regret was that he had disappointed Dean - to this Sam who now blames all of the wrong in their lives to them saving each other... It is just really puzzling. And the way he looked at Dean all through the episode was just... awful. Sam is not himself. He is cruel. It's like he has forgotten who he was. I am still looking for reason WHY?!

Mentally messed up is still at the top of the list. I was interested to see one other here that I am also considering - Cain's curse. Another possibility is possession by Abbadon (I am a little worried they removed his tatoo...). Someone also mentioned how Dean felt after John saved him. I've considered that possibility too. Feeling empty because he should have died? Wanting to blame the person who saved him? Maybe.

I'm just trying to hold on.

Meanwhile I think I'm going on a Dean-style binge. Doughnuts.... :)
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 11:23 pm (UTC)
None of the Season 9 episodes seem to have any relation to each other. The Cas/Sam talk did not influence the Garth episode, and the Garth episode has not influenced this one at all either. REALLY?! Writers? Are you thinking at all?

Very true. Cas TOLD Sam that it was better that Sam lived, that nothing was worth losing him... and Sam told Cas he had been right?! Where did THAT go? I mean, maybe Sam just agreed that dying for a TRACKING spell was a little bit of a frivolous way to go? But come-on.

Mentally messed up is still at the top of the list. I was interested to see one other here that I am also considering - Cain's curse. Another possibility is possession by Abbadon (I am a little worried they removed his tatoo...). Someone also mentioned how Dean felt after John saved him. I've considered that possibility too. Feeling empty because he should have died? Wanting to blame the person who saved him? Maybe.

All very good possibilities! I'm interested to see where it goes...
marlowe78
Feb. 5th, 2014 07:11 pm (UTC)
Either Dean has changed after purgatory and lets monsters live now if they're good people, or for some reason he's on a murdering kick, but don't vacillate!

Yepp, that annoyed me, too. A LOT!

and I think that despite the way this conversations feels devastating, all that stuff NEEDED to be said. They needed to get all their feelings out and in the open so that they can hopefully start again from a healthier place.

Interesting - a friend of mine said the same thing. I don't agree with it all though, and not because Sam doesn't have a right to say what he thinks or be honest - he has every right! And he even IS right with his reasons.

is Dean saving Sam to do something nice for Sam? Or is he saving Sam because Dean is desperate not to be alone.

That is true, and we all know it's the truth. And it needed to be said - and it would always hurt to hear it (because it hurts when someone brings your issues to the surface)

Problem is, though, that he left things where he left them. He wanted to make Dean understand why he doesn't think family is a good thing (for the Winchesters at least) and that Dean always going over Sam's choices for his own needs can not be healthy.

I just really, really don't think that Dean understood him.

Because Sam didn't say: "The way things are right now, we are not working right. You mother-hen me and you are making decisions based on your own needs - and that's not fair to me. You put me on a pedestal where my life is worth everything, and I don't feel that way so it makes me hurt to know that you would sacrifice everyone, even our friends - just for me. If we are brothers, that would mean our lives are worth the same - and have the same value as other people's lives. And if the circumstances were the same, and you would be dying and I could change that but to do that, I would have to go against your wishes - I wouldn't do that. I put your wishes higher than your life, and maybe that's not right, but for ME, it's so damn important to have my own mind and make my own decisions that I wouldn't ever take that from anyone else."

What he heard was - as you said "I don't love you like you love me". And that would be what he's always, always believed anyway. And if he ever looked back, he'd find evidence all over for that. Sam said often that he loves him, he showed it often, too. But you always remember your emotional pains, maybe even more than the emotional ... uhm, opposite of pain. So Dean would remember Sam leaving him (ok, and John) at 18. he would remember Sam choosing a demon and a demon's word over his brother. He would remember Sam not having ANY "perfect memory" of his family (= Dean) and he would remember Sam not even TRYING to find him when he was in Purgatory. (I know how you feel about that and I agree with your feelings, but it's sadly canon, now, so it counts - and even if Sam lied to Dean about not looking - Dean heard him say it and believed it. So yeah.. it counts)

It's nearly impossible for Sam to ever counter that amount of doubt in his brother. Because every time Dean thinks that things can be good now, something tears it all away from under his feet.

(tbc)
marlowe78
Feb. 5th, 2014 07:12 pm (UTC)

Is Sam right to blame Dean for his own survivor's guilt?

Oh, good question and good point. If it's survivor's guilt that is making him lash out (and I think it partly is), then no, he is not right. You can't blame someone else for feeling guilty. He could blame Dean for Kevin's death and he would be right - but he doesn't, he blames himself. Weird cycle.


So, seeing as they are not on the same page here, this can't be the base for them to mend. They need to start at equal footing, and not with one of them saying "A" and the other understanding "Z".
On the other hand... from this point, it can hardly get any worse...


I'm not hating Sam. I agree with what he didn't say - but I don't think he was right to leave the real meaning behind his words out. I think he's still bitter (understandable), and I think they shouldn't have started to work together again. There's still too much hurt in Sam, and he's doling that out towards Dean. Unintentionally, maybe, but I think he's smart enough to know that his words as they were are NOTHING but a kick in the teeth. And so I'm sorry to say that he probably wanted them to be.

BUT: it's human to be mean and petty and angry and hurt and emotionally in a bad place. And I get Sam more now than I ever got him in other seasons, and while I want ghostBobby come and shake him up good, I like that he's being mean now.

Thinking of Bobby: Dean was once prepared to let Sam die. He was prepared for Sam's death when Sam was detoxing, saying that his life wasn't worth more than Sam's soul. Bobby wanted to use Sam's abilities, but Dean wouldn't hear any of it.

And he'd have stopped fighting and just let Sam do what he wanted to do, back when it was Ruby who had him in his claws. Bobby read him the riot act then, and in that weird room with Zacharia, Dean chose to fight for Sam anyway.
Sam doesn't know all this because he wasn't present, but I'm just saying that if Dean hasn't changed into an even more messed up person, there ARE limits for him. Maybe not anymore when there is no heaven... Hm.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling. I can't wait for the stupid winter-olympics to be over.
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Feb. 5th, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Feb. 5th, 2014 11:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
pushistyj_koshk
Feb. 5th, 2014 10:12 pm (UTC)
Re: I will say though that I don't think it sucks THAT much skin up into the cup, that was gross.

It does too! I saw cupping as a kid several times and it completely freaked me out and continues to do so! It's disgusting! And to think that people do it willingly!
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 10:40 pm (UTC)
Gross!!!
(no subject) - pushistyj_koshk - Feb. 5th, 2014 10:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
pushistyj_koshk
Feb. 5th, 2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
What I don't like about Sam's attitude (or the way the writers wrote Sam) this season, is that Sam said (I don't remember, if it was 9.12 of 9.13) that Dean tricked him in that church to not go through with closing the hell gates (I don't remember the exact quote). Come on, Sam! Nobody tricked you! Your brother asked you not to do it, you agreed to stop, end of story.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 10:45 pm (UTC)
I think Sam's definitely blaming Dean for "talking him into" living in the church... basically, he's blaming Dean for his own decision, and that's not right. I don't think he thinks Dean TRICKED him, I think he thinks that Dean shouldn't have come back to stop him, that he should have let Sam stick with his original decision of dying rather than making a case for living, as he did.

But the case remains that Sam did AGREE with Dean's argument that Sam should live... so yes, you're right.

If Sam wants to be in charge of his own decisions, he has to take responsibility for the decisions that didn't work out too (in his opinion.)
(no subject) - pushistyj_koshk - Feb. 6th, 2014 10:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Feb. 6th, 2014 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Wedge Antilles
Feb. 5th, 2014 11:17 pm (UTC)
For someone who was in law school, Sam sucks at using his words. I think everyone agrees Dean thinks Sam doesn't love him anymore, loves him less, or something along those lines and that's not what Sam meant BUT HE WON'T SPEAK UP. Sam should have told Dean that he would let him die so that he could finally have some peace and not spend the next 40 years waist deep in bloody bodies and alcoholism because he does love him. We need an epic speech to resolve everything, and we'll probably get one eventually.

Also I don't think Dean really was going to kill Ms. Fishtaco, lamprey thingy. I really think he was just trying to bait Sam for a fight. If Sam had agreed to kill her, he would have problem been like, "Wow, we're not really gonna kill her. Do have a heart at all anymore." So yeah I think he was just being a jerk out of spite, pointing how professionalism without heart doesn't make sense.

I do want to say that I liked how they had to find flashlights and didn't just have them randomly tucked in their belt. That would have way too convenient. Gotta enjoy the little things. I'm also glad that Sam's yellow and blue shirt was just a costume to make him look like someone who'd actually work at a place like that because even for Sam, that was an ugly plaid. I'm sorry if anyone was in love with that shirt. No offense.

Edited at 2014-02-05 11:18 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Feb. 5th, 2014 11:27 pm (UTC)
Haha, totally agree about that shirt! :P

And interesting theory that Dean was just being an ass with his willingness to kill Ms. Fishtaco... though, again, why did she have to go back to Peru?! She had a good thing going at that spa.

For the record, Sam never actually attended law school...so, yeah, obviously he didn't get to the "how to talk to people" class. :P Sam is one year away from getting his bachelors in... pre-law? I have no idea what lawyers get BA's in. But the interview for entry into law school was on Monday and Sam never made it.

But yeah, SAM needs to tell Dean that he loves him, that's for damn sure.
(no subject) - Wedge Antilles - Feb. 5th, 2014 11:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Feb. 5th, 2014 11:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
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