Supernatural Midseason Roundtable Review: Dean, Sam, Castiel, Purgatory, New Characters, Tablets and More!

SupernaturalThe winter Supernatural hellatus is upon us and, as is the tradition here at TVOvermind, I’ve once again called on my group of fellow Supernatural reviewers across the internet to share our thoughts.

Participating in this roundtable review are: myself, Laura Prudom from Huffington Post TVVinnie from Winchester BrothersDanielle Turchiano from Possible By Pop CultureAlice Jester from Winchester Family Business, Marisa Roffman from Give Me My Remote (our new addition this year!), and Tina Charles from TV Guide.  We hope you’ll stick with us to the end, because while this is a very comprehensive (read: long) midseason review, we’ve got a lot of opinions to share and a lot of topics to get through. 

Dean’s Story: Purgatory, Fighting Flashbacks and a Renewed Sense of Purpose

Dean spent most of season 7 in a funk. Understandably crushed by the losses he has suffered over the years – not to mention the recent betrayal by his good friend Castiel – Dean really struggled to find purpose in hunting. Conflict with Sam over his decision to kill Amy, not to mention the staggering loss of Bobby pushed Dean to depression and alcoholism. Who would have thought that spending a year fighting his way through monsters would give old Dean a renewed purpose in hunting? Mopey Dean in season 7 was attractive, but it felt like the character had lost some of the fire that made him the man we know and love.  “I think Purgatory was the big surprise for a lot of viewers this season – I know there was some fan trepidation about how long Sam and Dean would be separated for before the season began, and I thought that the flashbacks were a nice narrative device for fleshing out the past year without sacrificing the present-day story,” Laura said.

“Sending Dean to Purgatory ended up being the best storyline for the character,” Tina said. “The past couple of seasons his story just kind of laid there. He had plenty of airtime but no discernible story other than the Winchesters vs. the Leviathan stuff. There was his drinking but that didn’t lead anywhere either.” But simply sending Dean to Purgatory could have turned out very differently had the show not actually shown us the flashbacks to his year there. All of us were in agreement that Dean’s flashbacks were comprised of stellar – and welcome – scenes. “I was afraid Purgatory would be lackluster, or worse, repetitive [after Hell], but I think what sold me on Dean’s Purgatory experience was the fact that this time the show actually allowed us to see it and therefore experience it with the character,” Danielle gushed. “Hell was a lost chapter for Dean, for the show, for the fans. Our minds can fill in images of what it must have looked like for Dean to be taken off the rack and start torturing, but we were thrown into the trenches with Dean (and, to a degree, Castiel and Benny) in Purgatory. The flashbacks were shot with such a frantic style, between quick cuts and jittery frames, they never let you get comfortable. You felt like you were being watched and that you could be attacked at any angle. It was equal parts beautiful and haunting and absolutely terrifying– in the shooting style but also in the storytelling in general.”

Supernatural“I really like the way Dean’s flashbacks have been handled,” Alice agreed. “They’ve been a good  depiction of a man who found himself dropped into a brutal war zone.  I love the overall feel of the flashbacks, using the sepia tone to accent the grim surroundings, the shakiness of the camera, Dean’s hard edged brutality at times, not to mention making something that pretty look so grungy and filthy.  I guess they don’t have showers in Purgatory.  There no liquor either, which is really great.  It’s so wonderful not seeing Dean with a constant drink in his hand.” Marisa also acknowledged that the Purgatory story struck the perfect balance for the character. “Purgatory changed Dean. We’ve seen shadows of that throughout the season – and more overtly displayed in the hours with full-on flashbacks – and I’m truly impressed with the balance they’ve struck of not totally glossing over what happened, while not constantly hitting us over the head with, ‘Hey, remember how Dean spent a year in purgatory?’”

Perhaps the only thing we’re all lamenting now is that the flashbacks have seemed to come to a conclusion with the return of Castiel. “Dean’s Purgatory storyline is one of my favorite things Supernatural has ever done. I love the way it’s presented, both visually and conceptually. I liked it so much that I wish we’d seen more of it, but it’s Supernatural so it’s possible those flashbacks aren’t over yet,” Vinnie lamented.

As for Dean’s return from “God’s armpit” in the season premiere – and the subsequent affect it’s had on his psyche – we’ve enjoyed the subtle nature of his PTSD. “Dean’s return has played out well.  His behavior makes sense to me,” Alice explained. “He’s raw, on the edge, and has had to ease back into his life slowly.  The transition hasn’t been easy.  He’s making hard decisions that often don’t consider the human factor, much like a person making life or death decisions during war.  It’s all about survival.  Trying to kill Mrs. Tran when she was possessed by Crowley is the best example.  He’s also gone too far with Sam and his passive aggressive hints about not trying to find him during the year and giving up hunting.  I don’t think he’s really suffering from PTSD as much as adjustment disorder.  He’s calmed down a bit in the later episodes.  He harder though, and he’s not going to sugarcoat realities.  Purgatory did profoundly change him.”

SupernaturalAlthough some of us, including Danielle, had hoped to see his reintegration into “normal” society play out a bit longer: “I hoped the show would do more with the PTSD of Purgatory because of just how unique and dark Dean’s situation was there. There was a nice moment in the season premiere where he’s zoned out, trying to make sense of something so mundane (but formerly loved) as junk food and in a split second, he switches to completely on edge as he hears two kids playing with toy guns. I was hoping for more of those moments that snapped him in and out of Purgatory in his mind. At the very least, he should have been sleeping with at least one hand on one weapon at all times!”  On the flip side, Laura argues that “While a part of me wishes we’d seen more of his PTSD, I also think that to have made him too much of a wreck after Purgatory would’ve just retraced the missteps of Season 6 and Season 7, where he was barely functioning and totally miserable.”

Yet, no matter how brief his recovery time from Purgatory, there’s no denying the fact that post-Purgatory Dean has made all of us excited about him again. “I personally have a much greater fondness for this version of PTSD Dean versus season 4 or season 7,” Vinnie said. “I’m enjoying his blunter approach and I’m enjoying that he’s not hiding inside a bottle of booze, because that was becoming tedious.” But it’s not only New Dean that has us excited, it’s his two travel companions in Purgatory that also piqued our interests. The introduction of Benny, including the writers’ decision not to turn him into Ruby 2.0, was a stellar idea for the storyline. “One of the most intriguing things to me this season has been Dean and his relationship with Benny,” Marisa agreed. “Their experience in purgatory and subsequent bond is fascinating and wrong and so not something I would have thought Dean would have done a couple of years ago…and yet it makes sense.” As for our opinions on Benny himself, we’ll get to that shortly.

Next Page: Sam’s Story…

  • Marie

    Well, Sam not looking for Dean is never going to be something that’s IC for me (unless the writers explicitly show us the process Sam went through immediately following 7×23 that got him to that decision and make it make sense) so I’ll just address this:

    “you have to keep in mind that Amelia is still a normal person (supposedly) and it would be a bit boring to have an episode or two devoted to her being a vet or going to the grocery store or just hanging out with Sam.”

    While I agree with this (and think the less of this soap opera arc, the better), I still hate how completely uneven this makes the season, considering that this is literally the only character they’ve given us as a means of understanding Sam this season, while Dean’s been given plenty of insight through his realtime interactions with Benny and Cas taking up half of the episodes in of the first half of the season. (Note how they used Sam’s issues to inform us of Cas’s arc in 8×08, but they never actually gave us a scene with Sam and Cas talking to bring it full circle and help us understand Sam’s current mindset a little more. That was definitely a disappointing dropped opportunity.) And even now that we have Amelia in realtime, they’ve watered down the story into not being about Sam’s issues but about Amelia choosing who the love in her life will be and I just– auughhh if they don’t have some angelic plot twist to this arc, I’m probably going to be considering this Sam arc an utter failure. I just hope in the end I’ll still have some love lef tfor the guy who’s been my favorite character for the past few years. :/

    • Lily

      S8 has been a mixed bag for me. Watching Sam’s story is like watching paint dry and it’s ruined Sam’s character for me. I hate the soapish love story. On the other hand, I’m loving this new Dean, as well as the Dean/Benny friendship. Can’t say about Cas. He’s a support character, so I’m not all that invested in him one way or the other, and there’s been so many versions of him, I never know which one will show up from episode to episode.

      Hate Garth and not looking forward to seeing Charlie again when the season starts up. The Trans are annoying and I’d like them gone very soon. Other than yelling a lot and doing despicable things, Crowley isn’t selling the big bad for me. I rather liked Crowley as a frenemy, though. Noami is intriguing.

      As far as the brothers’ great mythical bond, I’d like to see them separated for a time now. I see no way for the ‘brother bond’ to be fixed now in a believable way, because I think the writers have taken Sam too low for me to believe in their ‘enduring love’ again.

  • Sally

    All Sam has storywise is Amelia I am not to keen on the idea from some of you that Sam realizes his relationship with her wasnt as strong has he thought and he toodles back to Dean like a good boy while Dean has the Benny relationship it creates a very uneven situation .While I do agree Dean has been through hell and Purgatory it shouldnt be forgotten what Sam has gone through although Mr Carver seems to want to forget that . I agree with Marie the show seemed more interested in justify Amelia than in actually giving us Sam’s mindset outside of one syllable words of ‘I ran’ and ‘you saved me’ we have had literally nothing on Sam except Dean telling us what a utter failure he has been has a brother and how awesome Benny is.

    • Clarissa

      Actually, what we said is that the show itself hasn’t really succeeded in showing us the strength of Sam’s relationship with Amelia. The timeline of the flashbacks hasn’t convincingly explained how they went from Sam hitting the dog to them sleeping together to suddenly moving in together.

      And no one is suggesting that Sam is an utter failure of a brother. At least not on our end.

      • Sally

        No Dean is I never suggested any of you were.

  • Percysowner

    Re Amelia(I honestly don’t know what the writers could have done differently.

    Bring back Sarah from Provenance? Sarah married someone he dad approved of who went to work in Afghanistan and was reported dead and then Sarah and Sam ran into each other and again reconnected due to loss and grief? At least we had some idea of Sarah, she had relationship with Sam and enough years have passed that she could have slotted into this story. She didn’t have to be a vet, Riot could be hers, or she could have been a volunteer at an animal shelter, if Riot is an important part of the story line.

    Many of my issues with Castiel have been resolved over the years, but the biggest one remains. Whenever Castiel is in an episode Sam get pushed so far into the background that he can barely be seen and he is rarely heard. Cas is linked to Dean and Sam is an outsider. Sadly the pattern is repeating with Benny. Benny only talks to Dean. If we see Benny Sam is not around. And Benny is being used to make Sam look wrong and bad, much the way season four Castiel was used.

    I could believe Sam didn’t look for Dean if the writers showed one iota of interest in showing Sam’s immediate actions after Dean disappeared. But currently, Sam is being portrayed as a brother who could not be less interested in the fact that Dean is back and didn’t care enough to call a few hospitals to see if Dean just got blown to another county.

    Closing the Gates of Hell interests me only because Crowley wasn’t angry about being trapped but indicated that God was crazy to even consider it, so there may be more purpose to Hell and Heaven than we have seen. Otherwise, the myth arc isn’t catching me. I like Mrs. Tran and Kevin although the writers need to decide if Mrs. Tran is smart and savvy or an idiot who trusts an witch found on Craigslist.

    The return of Martin really bothered me. Dean’s constant nudges that Martin could not possibly ever recover from mental illness really annoyed me because that just labels an entire group of people as unsalvageable. Plus Martin was, in an odd way, one of the really sane hunters. He realized when he needed help due to the trauma of hunting and got it. Now Dean implies that seeking help is a stigma that can never go away. Plus the change in Martin’s personality came off as let’s make Benny look good and sympathetic instead of an outgrowth of the man he was.

    All in all, I’m deeply unhappy with the way season 8 is shaking out.

    • Carl

      I think Martin’s return was solely about conflict between Sam and Dean, not Benny. Benny also exists solely for Sam and Dean conflict. I thought Martin’s return was a big writing mistake, especially the way that Sam used him, knowing he was mentally disturbed, and then left him alone. I don’t even think the show did this deliberately, since we were clearly supposed to think Dean’s phone call somehow evened the score.

      I think Cas has worked fine with Sam in equal roles when the show tried. Cas was disturbed by Sam in season 4 but ultimately his reasons for doing so were proven to be wrong. The soulless story in season 6 was kind of crap, but Soulless Sam and Cas had some intense scenes. Sam was a believable friend to Cas in season 5, and they both had a large role in the Lucifer arc. It’s only been since the show wrote Cas out and kept bringing him back in that his character has become Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean.

      • Clarissa

        Yes, unfortunately I think the lengths Martin went to were a convenient reason for Sam and Dean to argue and that’s really unfortunate, because most of us really liked him in season 5 and were sorry to see what happened with him in “Citizen Fang”. But I would argue that Benny is not like Martin and doesn’t exist solely to create conflict. If he were that convenient of a plot device, then there would really be no point to flush out his character so successfully. I think he’s been a great addition to the show on his own merits. But, perhaps, he is a way for the brothers to help get out their issues and work on resolving them.

        • Percysowner

          Well if the way to get the boys to work out their issues is another round of Dean is always, perfectly right, then Benny fits the bill, because that is the message this episode gave Benny=good, Dean=right, Sam=wrong and stupid. Add to that the Amelia will never work, so Sam just has to buck up and continue hunting because Dean is right that Sam must hunt with Dean, even though Dean can never trust him because Benn=good, Dean=right and Sam=wrong and stupid message and I don’t see issues being truly worked out. Been there, done that way too many times. We shall see, but right now this is what I am seeing. We have no idea how Sam got involved with Amelia and the writers don’t care. We have Dean reminding us and reminding us that Sam is a big old betrayer of Dean and a monster is better than Sam and then we have any suspicion Sam has of Benny being shown to be wrong.

          • Clarissa

            I really don’t know how you want me to respond to this. I specifically said that Dean should have been more aware of how he presented Benny to Sam and that his failure to tell his brother the truth (and his comments about Benny not letting him down) do not help the situation. In the case of the brothers fighting, both of them have valid points in their arguments and both of them have other points that are not as valid. It takes two people to have an argument. And, I assure you, in this case there is not one of them who is right and the other who is wrong.

            If you feel that Sam is being portrayed as wrong or stupid, then I’m sorry you feel that way. *I* don’t feel that way. No one who participated in this review feels that way. And, frankly, I don’t think there’s a conspiracy here, with the writers all discussing “how can we make Sam Winchester a douche this season?” or Jared telling them “Gosh, writers, please make Sam wrong and stupid because I don’t give a crap about a character that I’ve played for 8 years!” Do I think the “normal” storyline is very interesting? No. Admittedly, it seems out of place for the show, unless there is more to it than we’ve seen (which is possible). Do I think they’re sabotoging Sam’s character? Hardly.

            I think you should wait and see how the rest of the season plays out before putting a final label on Sam’s character development. The truth is – and we said this – that we simply don’t know enough about his relationship with Amelia or what happened to him. If that’s how the writers leave it, then shame on them. If it’s further explored and in a way that relates more to the show, then I’m eager to see it.

          • Carl

            I feel like Dean repeatedly saying “Benny is more of a brother to me” is mostly a red flag for Dean to be horribly disappointed. I’m not sure if Benny will be evil, but something will happen. As much as I don’t get the writing for the brothers this season, I don’t think they would ever have Dean say that and expect us to believe it’s true.

    • Kady

      “Whenever Castiel is in an episode Sam get pushed so far into the background that he can barely be seen and he is rarely heard.”

      If Sam is fading into the background, that’s an acting issue. Ackles and Collins are better actors, they hold the scene.

      • Lia

        This hardly deserves a response, but it is patently ridiculous. The show never would have made it to season 4 when Collins joined if that were true. Jared is a much better actor than most fans give him credit for, and so many Sam haters simply let their dislike of the character bleed over onto Jared. It’s extremely petty.

  • Lora

    wow it is really amazing how you can talk about Dean in season 8 and Purgatory without mention CASTIEL O_o are we seeing the same show?

    • Clarissa

      Did you happen to notice we had an entire section devoted to Castiel on page 3? The point was to divided up the main characters and talk about their separate arcs. But if we mention that Dean’s flashbacks are great, then obviously Cas is a part of that.

      • Lora

        yeah, but Castiel has been really important to Dean story line, and come on, in Purgatory Dean was looking for Cas and he was torturing again for him too, Dean was hopeless when he came back from Purgatory and was happy again when he saw Cas. Their relationship is getting too important in the plot to not talk about it. (sorry for my bad english :P)

        • Clarissa

          We talk about the importance of Cas and Dean’s relationship in the Cas section (Tina mentions some of her favorite scenes were their conversations after Cas got out). But that doesn’t mean that Dean’s journey is only about Cas. It’s about a lot of different factors – all of which (including Cas) we address in a few different places.

          • Lora

            Yes, I read it. And I don’t think “Dean’s journey is only about Cas”, but he is important for Dean’s plot in this season, and seems weird to me that you didn’t talk about him in Dean’s part.

          • Carl

            I liked your comments about Castiel. The only part I disagreed with is that he should have been left in a mental institution. I think that would have been a horrible fate for Cas, and he can atone in other ways. Unfortunately all the character seems to do is keep being put in the middle of torment, for the sake of torment. I was very wary of them casually mentioning suicide and then not bringing it up again. And showing him with the man he lobotomized. If Castiel is lobotomized or kills himself I think I’d stop watching, as it’s just more pointless misery and a huge waste.

          • Clarissa

            Carl, I think that was Danielle’s comment and was more a worry about fitting him into the mytharc than anything else. I highly doubt you should be worried about Cas getting lobotomized or committing suicide. No matter what the angels look like they’re doing to him in the January return preview, I don’t think they’re going to get rid of the character.

          • Carl

            After what they did to him in early season 7 I can never stop doubting, but I will hope you’re right, as I’ve loved a lot of his scenes this season and I’ve really loved the complexity of his relationship with Dean. For me, when written properly, it is the strongest friendship/bond/love story/what have you on TV. And there’s more they could do with him outside of Dean, if they wanted to, but I will just be happy if he finds some peace and drive, which hopefully this story will eventually lead to.

          • erb

            Clarissa: I have to reply here since there isn’t a reply button under your response to Carl. I’m in agreement with Carl. I was appalled that Danielle (not familiar with her and it appears that may be a good thing for me) would consider Cas remaining in a mental institution in any way as a fitting end for his character. Many of us love him and he has been an important part of SPN and deserves to be treated respectfully.

            Carl: You and I are simpatico. Due to past experience we’d be fools not to worry about Cas. And cheers for your quote, “For me, when written properly, it is the strongest friendship/bond/love story/what have you on TV.”
            Let’s hope our Cas will have a strong storyline.

          • Clarissa

            ERB – I suspect Danielle said that because it would have been an appropriate way for him to atone for the things that he had done. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t like Castiel. She went on to say that “I’m glad season eight has worked hard to restore his character.” Which means that she’s happy to have him around if there’s a place for him in the storyline, which is what we all want. It’s no fun to keep him around if they’re just going to make him evil or besmirch the memory of his character. I’m thrilled about his inclusion in this season’s storyline, so I’m happy there’s a place for him again!

  • Ashley

    I disagree with like 94% of this. To me, Jeremy Carver is the Big Bad of this season, not Crowley. For the first time ever, I actually dislike both brothers. I’d rather have the Garth/Trans Houseboat spinoff over these terrible petty jerks that the brothers have become, especially to each other.

    /depressed fan that has watched since the Pilot

  • Karen Graham

    I agree with Alice’s comment, “They’ve really failed in the ‘show, don’t tell’ aspects of [Sam’s] story, which makes me suspect they’re purposefully holding back on something.”

    This reminds me of J.K.Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince’ where Harry watched Snape kill Dumbledore. This was also ‘telling, not showing’, but deliberately done to hide Snape’s real purpose of protecting Harry. But I digress…

    I really do hope there is more to the Sam/Amelia storyline & we find out in the next episode. Alice said to insert a theory and I thought it was all angel interference initially. And I’ve even considered that Amelia isn’t a vet, but Sam’s psychiatrist… but who knows! I do have faith in Jeremy Carver the writers & hope it surprises us all.

    • Tinka

      I disagree. Sam’s had more flashbacks to his year than Dean has to Purgatory. Sam has not only shown but told. I wish people would stop blaming the writers for not “showing” us or not “telling” us(whatever the reason at the time is) Sam’s story.

      They’ve shown us Sam’s story in flashbacks, more than Dean’s. They’ve allowed Sam to tell us as well. They’ve done both. If you, and others, still aren’t connecting with Sam’s story, then maybe it’s someone else who is failing to sell you Sam’s story. Sam’s got as much story at this point as Dean has, we’ve seen more of his interactions with his “normal” year than we did of Dean’s purgatory year. We’ve seen him meeting Amelia, talking to Amelia, spending time with Amelia, meeting her father, discussing things with Amelia, sharing things about their lives with Amelia.

      It’s not because the story isn’t there, it’s because other people involved aren’t doing a convincing job of selling the story and that isn’t something the writers can do much about.

      • Karen Graham

        Tinka, I’m sorry but you’ve completely misunderstood and misrepresented what I said. I am not being critical of the writers and have said in the post above (and in several comments below) that I have complete faith in Jeremy Carver and the writers.

        What I was agreeing with was Alice’s comment about the writer’s ‘telling, not showing’ aspects of Sam’s story, which we suspect they are doing deliberately because they have something to reveal at a later date. This is not criticism of the writing at all. It is a belief that they have a purpose for doing so.

        I have no intention of judging Jeremy Carver or the writers halfway through the season because we don’t know what else will happen. A lot of comments here are purely speculation/hopes about what we would like to see in the second half of the season.

        At this stage, I’m totally loving season 8 and I personally think Jeremy Carver & the writers are doing an amazing job. I hope it continues for several seasons more :)

      • Lia

        It isn’t the number of flashbacks that are an issue. The problem is that we haven’t been shown what happened to Sam between 7.23 and when he walked into Amelia’s clinic. We’ve only had a couple of lines from him about his mental/emotional state and what he did. That’s what they meant by telling and not showing. I also hope there’s a good reason for that and that the reveal will be meaningful.

        As for “other people” not selling that story line, I don’t think that we are supposed to be “sold” on Sam and Amelia’s great love — because I don’t think they have one. Yes, they care about each other, but it isn’t an epic romance. They are just two troubled people leaning on each other for support.

        In this case, I don’t think the writers or the actors are failing. I think that some viewers are failing to look beyond Sam’s words. Like Dean, they are taking Sam’s story about his year without Dean at face value.

        And don’t misunderstand me — I haven’t found his story particularly interesting. I may understand why we have this story arc that is pitting the boys against each other so they can come out stronger in the end, but watching Sam’s story hasn’t been enjoyable TV. It is being presented like a soap opera for whatever reason, and I do blame Carver and the writers for that.

      • Clarissa

        Tinka – the issue is not the actual *number* of flashbacks, or their length. Obviously they’ve shown many flashbacks for Sam and Amelia. The issue is the quality of the flashbacks and what they have really showed us. The fact is that Sam went from hitting the dog to sleeping with Amelia to living with her. The flashbacks haven’t really showed us the *depth* of their relationship beyond the fact that they were both very damaged when they met. So, the issue is not quantity, as I said.

        The progression of their relationship just didn’t make sense to us. Not to mention the fact that a lot of their flashbacks didn’t even seem real, prompting quite a few people to spelculate that some – if not all – of their relationship wasn’t real. Obviously that turned out not to be true – since Amelia is very real – but we just wished for more of an explanation as to why Sam fell in love with this girl beyond forming an attachment to someone because they were both grieving.

        And who, exactly, are the “other people” who are supposed to be selling us on the story if NOT the writers and the actors? I don’t expect the marketing people at CW to sell us on the story. The show needs to do that. I think the actors are doing a fine job with the material they’re given, so the problem is that the progression is just strange (and, as we said, we just don’t see that a normal love story fits in with our idea of the show, but that is, admittedly, our bias – albeit one that’s been perpetrated by the show over the years). It could very well be deliberate, since Carver said that the show will play with perception lately. Perhaps, like with Dean and Castiel, we’ll learn that there’s something more to the story than we had been shown in flashbacks. The point is that we’re willing to give the show time to explain more about the whole situation. If it turns out to really just be a normal relationship, then we’ll address that in our end of season review.

        • Lia

          “we just wished for more of an explanation as to why Sam fell in love with this girl beyond forming an attachment to someone because they were both grieving.”

          I’m not convinced that he did. I don’t see that his love for her or her’s for him goes deeper than gratitude and common experience. I don’t know why there should be.

          • Clarissa

            Honestly, I don’t disagree with you, because a real love between them sort of seems farfetched based on what we’ve seen. I’ve mentioned in some episode reviews that I’ve felt that they both entered this relationship too damaged to form a lasting one on their own. I’m always reminded of that line at the end of Speed that “relationships based on intense circumstances never work out”. It’s sort of the same thing here.

            I think that the show is *hinting* to us that it’s love, but I honestly just don’t know how deep it is. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens between them in the present. It’s possible that Sam’s perception of what happened is different from reality – just like Dean’s perception of Cas when escaping Purgatory. I’ll reserve judgment until we know more.

          • Lia

            “It’s possible that Sam’s perception of what happened is different from reality – just like Dean’s perception of Cas when escaping Purgatory.”

            Yes, I’ve been thinking the same thing, and it’s one reason I’m actually looking forward to Sam’s interaction with Amelia in the current time line. Something interesting needs to happen between them.

          • Karen Graham

            I agree Clarissa & Lia… I keep coming back to what Jeremy Carver said about perception playing a big part in this season. So far, we’ve only had one scene (Dean trying to save Cass) where our first thought (maybe Dean left Cass) turned out to be wrong (Cass chose to stay). So I think there has to be other reveals later in the season.

            I also think that Dean’s flashbacks have more immediacy/effectiveness because the other players in purgatory have been present in real time. Benny came back with Dean and we’ve seen his story actually prompting some of Dean’s flashbacks. The same when Castiel came back; Dean was thinking back to purgatory to try to figure out what really happened. So his flashbacks have definitely felt more natural than Sam’s.

            Until the final scene of the last episode, we hadn’t seen Amelia in real time and Sam looked very shocked to see her. Are our perceptions about his life with Amelia real? Are his memories distorted? I’m looking forward to hearing that conversation.

            I can definitely understand why people are getting impatient to find out more about Sam’s story and what happened, but I think we are learning about his year at the same pace Dean is, if that makes sense. Dean still thinks Sam didn’t look for him because of a girl (and that’s what a lot of the fans think).

            I also think that one of the reasons Sam hasn’t tried to explain further to Dean about his year is because he now knows he was wrong about Dean being dead. Maybe he feels guilt for not having done more (in hindsight). Maybe he doesn’t feel like talking about his grief because he thinks Dean had it worse. This is purely my point of view and what I have interpreted so far from Sam’s body language and the things he has said.

            Think of this in personal terms. We’ve all had times when we’ve been depressed or felt like nothing is going right, but then something happens to give us perspective. Our problems seem meaningless in the light of someone else’s troubles. We might’ve lost a job; but then they tell us they’ve just lost a parent. How do we then feel?

            In the early episodes I do think Sam tried to explain to Dean what happened but, when Dean was pissed with him, he gave up, IMO, for the reasons I’ve stated. I think there is a lot going on in Sam’s mind that we don’t know about and this is how I’m interpreting them. Whether it turns out to be right or not… only time will tell. Unfortunately, we just have to be patient.

  • Emma

    Agree and disagree with so much of this, however, the main issue I have with SPN this season is (not-so-shockingly), the relationship between the brothers..of which I have commented on multiple times in these past fews weeks.

    While I like the idea of Sam and Dean finally moving forward in their relationship and letting go of all their past grievances, I am not enjoying their journey in getting there. It is just not enjoyable television. SPN has something special with the brother relationship – not only is it rare to see sibling relationships portrayed so in-depthly on TV but you also lose the chemistry between Jared and Jensen when their scenes are limited to either talking about a case/or Kevin or Cas or the tablet or their convos are tension filled.

    Even if Sam and Dean and their relationship come out the other side so much better, is that really worth a season without Sam and Dean…being Sam and Dean? As you mentioned Sam and Dean are the heart of the show, and without their relationship as a foundation, I think the show falters. I don’t want to see this fighting dragged out all season.

    The writers shredded the relationship this season – I think more so than they really needed too. The brothers could still work through all their old (and new) issues without having Dean cut Sam with the “Benny is a better brother” jab or Sam not looking for Dean. Yeah, Sam not looking has been a big catalyst for the Sam and Dean drama, but those two could still have all their issues come to a head without that.

    I really would have been pleased with a single line about Sam looking…for even a week. I wouldn’t have needed a flashback about it or anything. I just really hope there is something else to that. Give me PTSD-Sam. Give me anything.. I just want it addressed and a better explanation than “Sam had no one” and hand-waved.

    So much of their drama & fighting this season has just seemed..unnecessary.

    • Jessica

      I understand what you’re saying, but I disagree. All of this fighting is absolutely necessary for them to move forward. All of these issues that they’re facing may be old, but they’re also new because they’ve never actually been dealt with. Dean especially pushes his feelings to the side so he can keep going, but then inevitably those feelings will bubble over. But that doesn’t mean he’s actually dealt with them. The same is true of Sam. When he has issues with Dean, he doesn’t talk about it; he runs away. So they have never had an opportunity to confront any of the wrongs (either real or imagined) that they have committed against each other. What Carver and Co. are doing is creating a situation where the Boys will be forced to deal with all of the crap they’ve swept under the rug for the past 7 and half years (and in truth, almost all their lives). There is no way for that to happen except for the Boys’ relationship to be stripped down to its bare bones and rebuilt. The fact that we know how deeply these brothers truly love each other does make it difficult to watch them hurt each other, but the people who love you the most are the ones that cut you the deepest. You’re right that it’s a difficult journey, but it is a necessary one and one that I think will only help the Boys become stronger together. Because the only way that they can truly deal with any of this crap is to be honest with themselves and with each other. That is, I think, where we’re headed.

      • Lia

        “I am not enjoying their journey in getting there. It is just not enjoyable television.” I agree. Their fighting was tiresome way back in S4-5. Sam in particular seemed to have a lot of character development that’s being ignored this season and Dean some as well. He said after Amy that lying to Sam felt wrong, but that didn’t stop him from hiding Benny’s existence from Sam.

        It really seems as though Carver had an agenda and was willing to ignore canon to carry it out. While it may be necessary to tear down their relationship to the bare bones (although I’m not sure I agree) in order for them to rebuild, I don’t think it is necessary to drag it out. I can ‘enjoy’ angst and pain with the best of them, but how it’s being done isn’t working for me. Or maybe Carver is being too successful at making us feel like the Sam and Dean do — frustrated and fed up.

  • FB

    I think the writers trying to make the brothers talk about all the conflicts they went throught in all the years they spent together is a good thing. I know I want them to put all the tension out there, hit rock bottom, and for the FIRST time in all these years really talk about it and resolve their issues. Because Laura is right when she says that they NEVER really did. What I’m not on board with is Sam not looking for Dean. It really doesn’t sound right from whatever point I look at it .. I’m stuck on that and I can’t really move on, just like Dean. As much as I love both of the brothers, I have always emphatized with Dean the most and many aspects of his personality and characterization I feel like my own, so it’s not really a surprise when I see him hurt and upset that Sam didn’t try to find out what happened to him when he was gone. And I think a big part of the tension between them at this point come from that. And again, that’s so not a surprise that Dean can’t move on from that. I mean, he came back from purgatory, and find out that Sam didn’t bother to look for him, so I find it totally right from a Dean-ish brotherly POV to not open up to him about Benny .. I mean, Dean is not the most touchy feely guy per sè .. so when he found out his brother had abandoned him like that, he probably felt like Sam didn’t really “deserved” to know what went throught with him down under. As I said, Dean and Sam never really talked about any of their issues, but in their years of fighting against apocalyptic enemies, they managed to push their problems away, with the shared knowledge that all the “betrayals” were really a little thing compared to their “abiding love for each other”. Dean says in season 6 “We’re good. Blanket apology for all the crap that anybody’s done all the way around. Clean slate.” And that’s not avoiding the matter, that’s Dean saying that he finally understood that all the crap he felt was like betrayals were never really meant like that, that he knows Sam loves him, and that they made mistakes but never intentionally hurt or abandoned each other once. When Dean comes back from purgatory though, to find that his brother never looked for him, it brought all that crap back, because this time it really feels like Sam abandoned him, and that brings Dean to reconsider all the previous betrayals he forgave in season 6. I mean, if Sam willingly abandoned him this time, maybe Dean was right thinking he abandoned him all those other times he felt like it too. And that’s not gonna change if Sam doesn’t open up to him and talk about the whys and hows he didn’t look for him. Dean can’t understand if Sam doesn’t make him see. And that also goes for the audience. We can’t really understand or empathize with Sam if the writer don’t make us *SEE* the hows and whys he didn’t look for his brother. They just *TOLD* us he felt like the world exploded and rain down on him, but a strong fact like Sam giving up on Dean can’t really be dismissed like that. I’m still waiting for Sam to explain, I’m still waiting for the writers to make us understand, and that feels like a HUGE part of the show that is missing, but I feel like trusting Carver on this, because he made such a great job on every other aspect of the show. What I want to say anyway is that it all comes down to Dean not understanding how Sam could give up on him like this, and Sam not really telling him anything real about it. Sam says in 806 that he told Dean why he didn’t look for him in the first place, but that’s not really true. He just said he didn’t, and that Dean should get over this .. well .. not really a good place to start from. So .. Sam not looking for Dean is really a good conflict to trow at the boys, as it clearly make for some good drama, and offers the boys the chance to clear all of their past issues for good, but it has to be addressed as a separated issue, and resolved, because as things are right now I can’t feel like any of the fights and confrontations between the boys could be balanced, with the “you abandoned me” cloud hanging over Dean’s head. This way Dean feels like he has a valid point in not telling Sam about Benny, or telling him Benny has never left him down (or left him to rot in purgatory), while Sam in fact has. And I feel like he has a valid point too honestly. But I just hate to think like this, because I never once felt Sam was to blame, even back when he was drinking demon blood. I just hope they can make us SEE what went throught with him and make this right again, because I love seeing the brothers fight, but I SO don’t love seeing them abandon each other.

    • Karen Graham

      Sam did tell Dean why he didn’t look for him in the opening episode. He was upfront with Dean, telling him he’d quit hunting and ditched his phones. He said: “You were gone, Cass was gone, Bobby was dead…”. When Dean pressed him further he said: “Nothing says family like the whole family being dead”, which shows us what his mindset was… he thought Dean was dead.

      Sam also said: “As far as I knew, what we do (hunting) was the thing that got every single member of my family killed. I had no-one and for the first time in my life I was completely alone and, honestly, I didn’t exactly have a road map.” He went on to say he fixed the impala and then got in the car and drove…

      In season 7, do you remember what Dean did when he didn’t know what to do about Cass? He fixed the impala…

      Is it too hard to imagine that Sam was just completely lost because he thought Dean was dead and he really didn’t know what to do? I think this is what he was trying to explain to Dean in the opening episode, but the reaction he got from Dean (also understandable from Dean’s POV) shut him down and he hasn’t tried to explain further. There is also the possibility that Sam does feel guilty now (like he did with Kevin) because he assumed Dean was dead when he wasn’t. There are many reasons why he might not be opening up to Dean…

      And please don’t get me wrong… I’m not taking sides because I love both brothers… and I don’t think either of them has tried hard enough to explain what happened in their year apart. But it is this lack of communication by BOTH Sam and Dean that has led to where we are now.

      I still think (hope) we will find out what Sam was like in those initial weeks/months after Dean disappeared. Jeremy Carver is gradually peeling away the layers and he has said ‘perceptions’ are a big part of the season. So I’m looking forward to the rest of the journey in season 8.

      • Lia

        I agree completely, Karen. I’m seeing a lot of unnecessary Sam hate here, and I just don’t get it. Both boys are responsible for not communicating. They both have their reasons for the way things are going right now.

        I think a lot may hinge on that time between 7.23 and when Sam walked into Amelia’s clinic. Also, I’m wondering if, now that Amelia is appearing in real time, we will find that Sam’s memories of their time together aren’t completely accurate as Dean’s memory of leaving Cas in Purgatory wasn’t. It is all about perception after all.

        • Karen Graham

          I’m so eager to see Sam’s conversation with Amelia in the bar! I think our perception of Sam’s flashbacks might change after that… and I’m personally hoping that Jeremy Carver has an ace up his sleeve to surprise us all. You just never know with Supernatural. All I can say is that it’s going to be a long wait until Jan 16.

      • kaz

        Hi Karen, I hope you are right when you say that JC is gradually peeling away the layers especially with Sam. I find what many fans are concerned over is not so much that Sam didn’t look for Dean (but personally this bugs me the most) however, it is the fact that the writing for Sam just seems to be off. He has seen Dean disappear many times before with Cass, his first thought should have been that Cass zapped him somewhere. Also what about Kevin, even if he didn’t want to hunt, there is no way the old Sam would have left Kevin unprotected. Even when he was dying in the mental hospital he still found a way to help that girl. So no I am not buying that he didn’t help Kevin or look for his brother because he was completely lost. The explanation “I had no-one…..completely alone….no road map” is just one little measly explanation for something so profound, that it tears the core out of the whole SPN canon, that the brothers are one no matter what the world throws at them (demons, angels, ghosts, ghouls, hell hell and more hell etc). It just doesn’t add up “…Oh we have been through so much but you disappeared and I have no one so that means I am not going to look for you “… HUH?? it should actually elicit the exact opposite, Sam should rake through the centre of hell to get the one family member that has always been there for him). Is it sloppy writing? Is it character assassination? Is it a plot? honestly I have read some very heartfelt comments from fans trying to find answers to this. The Dean story writing is just so much more meaty as we have all mentioned. WHY?

        • Karen Graham

          I have too much faith in the writers to believe it is sloppy writing. I do think the Dean flashbacks have been more successful than the Amelia flashbacks so far, and they do fit much better into the Supernatural world than Sam’s flashbacks. But I think this was always inevitable because the ‘normal’ life just doesn’t fit comfortably into their world.

          I also think we have vastly different views on Sam not looking for Dean because I do buy his explanation (and I think there is more to it than has been revealed so far). I believe Sam was completely broken when Dean disappeared and this was the final thing that tipped him over the edge. A lot of people have conveniently forgotten that Sam almost died in season 7 because of the Lucifer visions. In episode 17, when he was in the mental ward, he was as close to giving up as I’ve ever seen him. Sure, Cass healed him of the visions, but he did not take away the memories of his time in the cage. So I think it’s highly likely that this would’ve still been impacting on Sam. Then, only a short time later, he had lost everyone. It’s not a stretch for me to believe he could’ve had another breakdown and I certainly don’t think it was a matter of Sam saying ‘I can’t be bothered looking for Dean’… (and I don’t believe the writers would be implying that either).

          Anyhow, as I said earlier, I’m confident that more will be revealed about those initial weeks after Dean & Cass disappeared and I’m looking forward to seeing what Jeremy Carver has up his sleeve :)

          • Lia

            Yes, even before his breakdown in S7, Sam was unable to handle life without Dean well. If you look at what he became in Mystery Spot (I don’t think he ever completely recovered from that) and then when Dean went to Hell, Sam went off the rails. There’s no reason to believe, especially after his time in the Cage and his psychotic break last season, that Sam actually just calmly decided to stop hunting and live a normal life with a girl and a dog. For whatever reason, his early days without Dean are being kept from the viewer. I have to believe there’s a good reason for this. That reveal will make his behavior make sense to us and perhaps to Dean. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway.

          • Emma

            I would be totally good with Sam not looking for Dean if he had some sort of breakdown. That makes sense to me. However, the writers aren’t showing us this (yet, at least). It can’t just be implied that Sam did not look because he had a breakdown or was overwhelmed by the loss of Dean.

            I think a lot viewers want to know what happened to Sam between Dean disappearing and ending up in Amelia’s vet clinic. I don’t understand why the writers have not shown us that. We are missing a huge puzzle piece.

            As of right now, we really don’t know exactly how Sam responded to Dean’s disappearance other than what he told us. His world imploded…so why couldn’t we see that? I think it would make Sam a lot more sympathetic this season.

            I am almost leaning towards the writers writing Sam as not looking for Dean just so that it could be a major point of contention between the two.

          • Karen Graham

            Hi Emma, I tried to reply to you but couldn’t for some reason.

            I think we are all hoping to find out what really happened to Sam after Dean & Cass disappeared. It is creating a lot of confusion/conflict in the fandom. But I think the writers have kept it from us deliberately, hopefully for a good reason. I think it’s highly unlikely that they would want us to believe that Sam simply didn’t care because no-one buys that. Unfortunately, I think we just have to be patience and wait for the reveal. I’m not going to judge a season until the season is done!

            We know that when Sam told Amelia about Dean, he said he lost his brother a few months ago. When he told Dean about Amelia, he said giving up hunting was ‘not about the girl’. Just how many months is a ‘few’ months? At least three, perhaps up to five, months before he even met Amelia. So anyone saying that Sam left Dean to rot in purgatory for a girl (including Dean) is not correct. I am sure we will find out the reasons why. If we don’t, then I may think differently by the end of the season. But for now, I do have faith in the show & the writers.

      • FB

        English is not my first language and I don’t know if I manage to make my point across most of the time, but I’ll try again and I’ll say that I agree that BOTH of the boys are miscommunicating at the moment. I said I empathize more with Dean, but I also always know where Sam comes from, so I don’t find it difficult to get what Sam went throught after he lost Dean.

        I think indeed that “Sam isn’t the idealistic teenager who went off to Stanford. He’s older, wiser, more cynical. He’s a hunter and he knows it, but he felt like his world imploded and he ran. I agree with Vinnie that if Sam hadn’t run into Amelia, he would have run off the rails like he did in Mystery Spot. [@lia]”.

        My problem is that I know how broken Sam was when he lost his brother on top of all he had already faced because I know Sam and I’ve known him for 8 years now, so I can easily IMAGINE all of this. What I’m missing is the writers *showing* me how broken he was. The Sam’s mindset you describe is totally believable and I KNOW it’s how Sam felt, because I KNOW Sam, and I’m sure it can’t be otherwise, but that’s not what I’m seeing on screen, and that’s so, so, SO frustrating, because I wanna SEE that mindset, not only be told about it. When you quote Sam I get what you say, and I get what Sam says, but i NEED to see it in his eyes, and in his behaviour just like *Dean* need to see it for him to understand that Sam didn’t really left him to rot in purgatory. We are, as much as Dean, only going with Sam’s words on this, and that’s not enough, not to make believable for *Sam Winchester* to give up on his brother.

        Like Sam can’t trust Benny just on Dean’s words, not when Dean himself didn’t bother to explain to his brother WHY he trusts Benny so much, Dean can’t really move on from his brother not looking for him when Sam didn’t really explain to him WHY he did it. So yeah, I know both the brothers are to blame in this, but while we as viewers SAW why Dean is trusting of Benny (and something that seems so OOC for him is made this way believable), we didn’t get the chance to SEE Sam’s motivations for this seemingly OOC choice to be believable and that’s making it unbalanced for me to watch them fight, because at the back of my mind, whatever Sam says, I keep thinking “yeah, but you gave up on your brother. (WHY, WHY, WHYYYYYYYYY?? lol)”, and I’m sure that’s what’s bugging Dean from the start too, causing the domino effect, and that’s okay as story-telling devices go, but it’s putting Sam in a slightly bad light.

        And @Lia, I am *SO* not “hating” on Sam, because to be honest I love him very much. I for once agree with you and with most of the people “defending” Sam’s choices and explaining why he didn’t look for Dean or how he dealt with the loss. But that’s just our take on it, and that’s not enough. I want/need to SEE/FEEL it on screen, and the flashback didn’t really made a good job of that, focusing on how Sam dealt with the aftermath of the choice he had already made, and not with the choice itself.

        The one flashback I remember close to that was Sam bringing the dog to Amelia, how lost and desperate he was. The rest of the flashback we get him saying “the world imploded”, or “I lost my brother and ran”, but they are NEVER adressing the not looking for Dean issue and that’s kinda making me insane, lol.

        • Lia

          I’m sorry if I misunderstood you because I completely agree that we do need to see Sam’s grief and desperation. I can only hope that it hasn’t been shown yet for narrative effect, and that later that will be used to help make Dean understand how Sam came to be with Amelia and not look for him.

          Unfortunately, those who don’t understand Sam will, as in the past, continue to hold the beginning of the season against him even after his behavior has been explained. That does bother me about the way the narrative is being played out. Carver et al know perfectly well how that faction of the fandom operates.

  • Lia

    So Carver is going for Sam and Dean having a mature, healthy relationship. What worries me about that is just how interesting will that be to watch? Like it or not disfunction is dramatic. It’s their co-dependence after all that has saved them time and again — and the world coincidentally.

    What I’m finding both interesting and frustrating about this season is that we can’t rely on anything that’s based on the characters’ flashbacks and perceptions of that year. Dean’s perception that Benny is a true friend who has never let him down and his hurtful statements to Sam about it are especially frustrating. I understand why Sam won’t believe Dean because Dean’s loyalty to Benny doesn’t really make sense from a logical standpoint. He’s never let Dean down? So what? Dean’s only known him a year. Give him a chance. Everyone let’s down the people who care about them. And Benny had a very selfish reason for fighting alongside Dean in Purgatory. He was Benny’s ticket out. So I understand that Sam doesn’t think that Dean is thinking clearly. His reason for not trusting Benny? He sees him as a threat to Dean, and if there’s one thing that Sam will not let live, it is a threat to his brother.

    • Loli

      If Sam has such a high opinion of his brother, based on what you just described, then he should TRUST his judgment about the guy he spent a year fighting with side-be-side regardless of WHAT he is AND he should acknowledge Dean’s skills and intelligence instead of treating him as someone who owns half a brain. since the start of this season Sam has been treating Dean with superiority, as if he needs to answer to him and explain, worse than that, ALLOWING him time to sort things out with Benny!! really!! Dean needs Sam to write him a permission slip…since when!

    • muse

      “Dean’s loyalty to Benny doesn’t really make sense from a logical standpoint.”

      It makes perfect sense to me. Dean spent a year having Benny watch his an Cas’ backs. Benny proved himself loyal to Dean and Cas. Then when he and Dean escaped, he kept his word to Dean and stayed on the bunny/blood bag diet as we and Dean saw in the vampirate episode.

      Still, Dean was did not show blind faith in Benny. He went and investigated for himself and concluded that the evidence against him was purely circumstantial, and based on his prior experiences with Benny, chose to give him the benefit of the doubt and his instincts were proven correct.

      I see nothing illogical in his actions regarding Benny.

      • Lia

        For all appearances, it does look as though Benny wasn’t killing up until he took Martin out, on the other hand, since perception is in question this season, we didn’t actually see that Benny didn’t kill victim #1 either. I’m just sayin’. We don’t know. I know a lot of fans have jumped on the Benny bandwagon along with Dean. I’m not invested in him as a character, so I just hope they do a good job with his story either way.

        As for proving his loyalty in Purgatory. He most definitely didn’t. Again, he had to keep Dean alive because Dean was his ticket out. Dean made it clear that Castiel was part of that deal. That Benny came to see Dean as a friend was secondary. He never would have interacted with Dean in the first place, since had every monster in Purgatory after him, if he hadn’t needed Dean to get out.

        • Jessica

          I think you make a valid point re the reason Benny sought Dean out in Purgatory, but there is obviously more to their relationship than that. I also disagree that Benny has failed to prove his loyalty. Yes, Benny needed Dean to get out of Purgatory. But Benny was upfront about that with Dean from the beginning. As far as we know, Benny hasn’t lied to Dean nor has he tried to deceive him. And from what we know of Dean, you have to earn his trust. He doesn’t just hand it out like Halloween candy. So however their relationship may have started, it has grown into a solid friendship. Benny saved Dean’s life in ‘Citizen Fang’ and he didn’t necessarily need Dean to be alive anymore. Benny saved Dean because Dean is his friend.

          • moanon

            YOuYou have to earn Sam’s trust too. He is not just going to take Dean’s word for it. Dean may be too close to the situation.

          • Jessica

            @ moanon: I don’t know why it’s not letting me reply to your comment, but this is in response to you. I don’t want to get into a Sam vs. Dean argument because I think those are pretty circular. That being said, I was not saying that you don’t also have to earn Sam’s trust. You do. But between Sam and Dean, Dean has historically been the less trusting of the two. The people that Dean allows to get close to him have to prove themselves over and over again before he lets them in. That’s not historically true about Sam. Sam has latched on to other people (or monsters) that he feels mirror his own struggles. That’s why he connected with Amy and Madison so quickly. And although Ruby absolutely manipulated Sam to a certain degree, a lot of what happened with her was mostly his bad choices. And in the situations of Ruby, Amy, and Madison, Sam’s only argument to Dean was “just trust me.” And although Dean most definitely didn’t trust Ruby, he gave Sam the benefit of the doubt. Dean was willing to work with her, which allowed him to form his own opinion of her trustworthiness or lack thereof. Sam hasn’t made that effort re Benny.

  • Gina

    Thanks for the great roundtable! I really enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts on the season.

    Count me among those who really loved the Purgatory storyline and regret seeing it draw to a close. Watching Team Purgatory battling their way through monsterland has been my hands down favorite part of the season so far. I’m just crossing my fingers that we haven’t really seen the last of those flashbacks. There’s still so much story potential that could be further explored.

    I agree with those who felt Dean’s readjustment to being topside happened too quickly. We had a few amazing scenes early one and then by 8.4, he was fine. I understand the show’s reluctance to have Dean experience full on PTSD but it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t have some kind of residual- maybe some hypervigilance or a touch of that cold pragmatism and ruthlessness. If nothing else, Dean should be an efficient monster killing machine. And yet, Dean went from singlehandedly taking out almost an entire vampire nest in “Blood Brother” to being overpowered by one random vamp in “Citizen” (not to mention, being taken out by both Garth and Martin.) Apparently, Dean has absolutely no baggage and no after effects after being in Purgatory. Zip, zero, none. I just find that really hard to believe.

    • Loli

      I absolutely agree with you. I think the adjustment ended up way too soon, and in an unbelievable manner his edge just magically disappeared!! That’s not acceptable as storytelling. He shouldn’t be regressing back to normal as far as his strength and magnified skills are concerned. I was so underwhelmed when he was taken down by that lousy vampire in citizen fang. I was like “really!!” and they just let Benny mock him by telling him to lay off the junk food WTH!. I don’t appreciate to be treated that way as an audience member. I hope Jeremy and the writers realize that soon enough and get Dean back on his game. Because it’s unrealistic for him to go back to pre-purgatory Dean.

      • soberdriver

        Carver should get a clue that trying to make Dean weak again actually makes me less interested in the show because it makes me wonder what else he’s going to take from him. It just seems like another Gamblesque way of trying to make him weak and the last person Carver should be reminding me of is Gamble.

        • Gina

          I agree with you both. I’ve noticed that Carver seems much more interested in discussing Sam these days. Which is fine- maybe he wants to drum up support for the less popular domestic storyline. But it does make me a little uneasy when we’re getting both less enthusiasm in Carver’s interviews AND in follow through of Dean’s time in Purgatory. To be honest, I’m not even sure what Dean’s storyline is right now. Worrying about Benny going rogue? Worrying about Cas’ strange behavior? Eventually worrying about Sam’s mental state (because you know we can’t have a season go by without something being wrong with Sam and Dean worrying about it.) Dean having to deal with his own Purgatory aftermath/becoming a ruthless hunter/whatever might not be that much of an actual storyline versus just consistent characterization, but either way, at least it belongs to Dean. I think the writing should reflect that Dean actually went to Purgatory for a year, not river rafting in Colorado. But from what I’ve read and seen, I’m just not convinced there’s enough interest from the writing end in Dean as an individual apart from how he can support all the other characters in their respective storylines.

          • Lia

            There wasn’t a lot of Sam’s story early in the season, and I think they are going a little Sam heavy now to get his backstory in.

            I agree completely about Dean appearing to lose his edge. The dweeby nursing home director even got the drop on him, and it doesn’t make much sense. If anything PTSD explains his almost blind devotion to Benny though. His insistence that a guy who he’s known for at the most a year has “never” let him down when that guy had ulterior motive, isn’t completely logical, but it is explainable because he could and did rely on Benny during a very stressful period.

          • mobanon

            +=_Why not? Going to hell magically wiped away Sam’s issues. Now he’s good to go.

  • Sara

    IA that the old hurts have to be addressed-especially when they keep happening. Sam hasn’t respected Dean’s hunting abilities since Dean returned from Hell, and this was what Dean needed back then more than anything. Now Dean comes back from Purgatory, to Sam having never looked for him AND he hung Kevin out to dry and he’s not sorry about the first thing and he was barely sorry about the second thing. All I see in these comments so far is how Dean has treated Sam so terribly this season, and I’m just afraid that again Sam’s share and part in creating the conflict will yet again just be glossed over while Dean will have to do get all the “lessons” and do all the changing and “learning” again. These writers have never had a problem creating conflict between the brothers-where they’ve lost many of us(mostly Deanfans, IMO)as fans of the brother bond over these last 3 seasons is in the poor writing of the resolutions to the conflicts. I hope Carver is tearing them apart in the specific way that he is so that he can finally fix things between them in a more balanced fashion and manner than Kripke or Gamble ever did. If he can do this, this season could go down as one of the best of the series, IMO-because other than the lack of chemistry between Sam and Amelia, so far, this season so has been stellar, IMO. And I hope Benny never lets Dean down; it would be the greatest irony that it would be a “monster” who could and would be able to do this for Dean, IMO, and I’d love Benny to stay. He’s the best thing that’s happened to this show since Castiel. And while I’m on that topic, I think they should bring Lizzie back for Dean and bring both her and Benny into the fold as “family”-something that doesn’t end with blood on this show.

    • soberdriver

      I too am not interested in false equivalences either where they want Dean’s “sins” and Sam’s blatant lack of caring to mystically cancel each other out so the wrong done to Dean (and Kevin, Martin, Elizabeth and Benny) don’t have to be addressed and dismissed as Dean being a “princess.” Nobody in their right minds should want to hunt with someone who pulled all the things Sam did in the last episode. I don’t care about Sam’s feelings when he got a partner in hunting and an innocent woman nearly killed because he had spent more time driving to Amelia than he spent getting Dean out of Purgatory.

      I’m not interested in more Garth/Bobby type lectures where it’s only Dean who has to listen and change.

      There was an article recently where someone compared Sam to a wounded baby bird and I’m thinking “If Carver goes there, I’m going to change channels permanently.”

      I’ve also been enjoying Benny greatly and they should use the relationship with Benny & Dean as a model for the Sam & Dean relationship where Dean can feel for Sam but never ever forgets exactly who he’s dealing with and not have to constantly hold his tongue to spare his feelings.

      And since every critics seem to be on board with how good Purgatory was as a storyline for Dean, do me and a lot of Dean fans a favor and push for another Dean-centric storyline that puts Dean front & center as a badass. god knows he’s owed a lot more than that after a couple seasons where he was sidelined and made fun of.

      • Kady

        “I’m not interested in more Garth/Bobby type lectures where it’s only Dean who has to listen and change.”

        I seriously have issues with the fact Dean got another lecture about the importance of family from Garth. Dea has made it crystal clear over the seasons how important family is to him. Sam, not so much. I would like, for once, for Sam to get that lecture and maybe then pull his head out of his ass as to how he should value his brother more.

        • Lia

          But no one ever talks to Sam except Dean, not Castiel (although Sam talks to him), not Garth, only once Bobby that I can remember. That’s part of the problem with the show. We get to know what Dean thinks and feels, what motivates him, but rarely do we get insight into Sam. That’s why so many fans relate to Dean and accept his POV as The Truth when it isn’t.

          • mobanon

            That’s why I am so eager to get insight into Sam. Dean is always the one who gets to express his feelings and have other people talk to him. You can call it getting a lecture but I don’t. There was nothing mean-spirited about Garth. He was just giving advice.

    • Sally

      This isnt about creating another family for Dean . you say Sam’s contribuation to the conflict shouldnt be glossed over well Dean’s shouldnt be rewarded either. Sam not looking was a problem but imo NOT the excuse for Dean this season and what he has said . Sam has made mistakes in the past but then so has Dean and so has Castiel and yet Sam it seems is the only one who’s past mistakes . hurt and misguided mistakes but never malicious are to be dredged up when Dean has issues to be dealt with.

      People in this fandom turned on Sam because of his association with Ruby how he didnt listen to Dean yet now the same fandom thinks Sam’s wrong for doubting Benny why? .Both boys are part of this relationship not just its Sam because he didnt look but Dean as well and he most certainly is contributing this rift in the boys , and his if he does honestly feel Benny is better than Sam then nobody is forcing him to either hunt or stay with Sam.

      • muse

        Sam’s vendetta against Benny seemed malicious to me. And hypocritical considering he had not problems letting Lenore, Amy or Kate the werewolf wonder off without a babysitter.

        Dean may have hated Ruby, but he never displayed the level of vindictiveness that Sam has done since he first heard about Benny. Dean even tried to work with her, until he realized just how badly she was manipulating Sam. That was almost two years into her appearance on the show.

        • Sally

          I am not jumping on the Benny bandwagon here nor is he deserving of the pedestal some seem to of put him on I havent made my mind up about Benny yet. I really dont think it is fair to say Sam has been vindictive I thought he was pretty fair in the last episode and also Dean has some responsibilty in creating the situation by not being open about Benny . I am not sure why some think Sam is being wrong and yet felt that Dean was justified in how he acted where Amy was concerned .

          I dont either think Dean is coming out of this with merit either , his text message was both cruel and low and also his declarations at Sam where Benny is concerned is all very well and good and if he truly believes that then he can leave nobody is holding him . However I am afraid he,s exacting standards will never be met and at some point Benny will let him down and he as also let Sam down . I dont really see either brother has being perfect and while I understood his hurt at Sam not looking , the rest from him the nastiness towards Sam the dragging up of old issues , the almost unrealistic view of Benny doesnt evoke alot of sympathy from me.

          Sam paid alot for his mistakes and really he cant control what Dean feels .I hope they do come to a understanding but on both their terms and less of the undermining of Sam has a brother if not then there is no reason that Sam has to take what Dean dishes out and for Dean to stay with the person that reminds him of all the wrongs done him.

          • mobanon

            Well said! Some people will always bash Sam and give him the worst motives while giving Dean all kinds of excuses.

    • Maren

      I agree, I really hope that Benny never lets Dean down either! I am really so tired of Dean being betrayed and hurt by the people he loves, and then told to “suck it up” and deal with it, while those who wronged him are never forced to make amends.

      If that is why Carver is doing what he is doing right now with the brother relationship – tearing it down to create a better, more equal one – then that’s good. If it’s just more about keeping the status quo where Dean is the doormat and Sam is allowed to do whatever and Dean has to take it, then enough. Let Sam go off with Amelia and have his normal life, I don’t begrudge him that. And then let Dean go hunt with Benny or Castiel, two beings who value and respect him and actually like and enjoy him and their relationship with him.

      • mobanon

        I’m tired of Sam being betrayed by the people he loves too. If Dean chooses Benny over Sam, he will remain a jerk.

    • Lia

      If Benny turns out to be a good guy, then Dean needs to swallow his pride and admit that he may have been wrong about Amy. To not do so would be hypocritical. I love Dean, but ever since Ruby, he second guesses Sam’s judgment all the time. He always has to be right, and Sam has to apologize even with Amy when Dean had lied straight-faced to him about not going after her. And even though Dean admitted then that lying to Sam felt wrong, the first thing he did was hide how he got out of Purgatory to Sam. The how was Benny. No wonder Sam thought something bad was up when he met Benny.

      Look, both boys are flawed. Both hurts the other. I wish that fans would quit acting as though one is the good guy and one the bad guy. It isn’t a competition.

      • soberdriver

        Ah, huh, right. I notice that the whole “both hurt each other” argument whenever it’s Sam’s turn to actually have to man up and say he’s wrong so he doesn’t have to.

        Also you really want to bring up Amy? Really? She was killing people in the present. Benny was not. Just because she’s portrayed by a cute actress popular in another fandom doesn’t mean that what she’s doing was OK. It was frankly ridiculous for Sam to let her go because he had a crush on her once and it actually hurts your case because he was so butthurt he left Dean with no known intention of returning.

        If anything, Sam should be on trial by some pagan god and have Dean leave him for a while if you’re so interested in equality. If anything, his punishment should be more since he got Martin killed, threatened a civilian and maybe kicked Benny off the straight and narrow.

        not everything is about Sam the woobie’s feelings. I don’t care about his feelings when his actions got Martin dead and could’ve gotten Elizabeth killed as well.

        Also that car Sam drove, that was MARTIN’S car. I can so see Sam ditch Dean during a hunt because of Amelia taking the Impala.

        • Lia

          Amy killed bad guys to save her sons life not all that unlike Benny killed Martin for threatening Elizabeth, but I’m sure you don’t see the parallel because you hate Sam. Sam didn’t let Amy go because he had a crush on her once. He let her go because she killed her own mother to protect him. Big freaking difference. Also, Amy had become a mortician to ensure that she didn’t have to kill. She didn’t until her son was dying.

          It wasn’t just Sam’s actions that got Martin killed. No, he shouldn’t have engaged Martin to track Benny, but it was Dean’s wild goose chase that took Sam away from Martin. Dean has a little responsibility in that. He knew too that Martin was still a danger to Benny or he wouldn’t have threatened him on the phone. But pretty clearly you just hate Sam, so nothing Sam could or would do would satisfy you, and this conversation is really pointless.

          • Sara

            SAM found Amy by following a trail of bodies to her-4 or 5 victims to be exact-that she was murdering people so that her child could live is not the same thing as what happened with Benny here, IMO(if it WAS Benny who killed Martin)-and if the writers are trying to pawn this off as a parallel, it’s an extremely poor one, IMO-not to mention, Sam even admitted to Dean that it was the right decision to put Amy down. *I* think what they’re actually going for is Sam, once again attempting to rationalize his own overly-invested emotional response to anything that Dean does that upsets Sam. Dean barely kept Benny a secret(it was certainly nothing compared to Sam’s secret keeping in most of S3 and 4)-and Dean has always, IMO, shown that he’s uncomfortable keeping secrets from Sam(and Dean DID apologize to Sam for lying to him about Amy-which was the only thing that he did wrong in that situation and again, even Sam admitted this). I seriously doubt that we will get an apology from Sam about siccing Martin on Benny behind Dean’s back because that’s not how this show rolls as regards the Sam character-so if they want to make Dean more like Sam in that one regard, than I’m all for it. And I think that is what’s most likely at this point-they will both realize that the vicious cycle of the secret-keeping will have to stop-otherwise they won’t be able to hunt effectively together-and no one will be made to apologize-which to me is better than only Dean being made to apologize for the secret-keeping-yet again and some more. At least this what *I* am hoping for from Carver as it seems more balanced this way, to me.

        • mobanon

          Not everything is about Dean the woobie’s feelings either. His BFF is a vampire, what does he expect from Sam? For him to embrace Benny without a second’s thought? That would be hypocritical of Dean after he got on his high horse about Amy.

  • Maren

    Count me in as another one who has really loved the Purgatory storyline! I really wish we had spent more time there, because I feel like there was so much more to discover about “monster land” and the effect of a human being there! Not to mention that I just really adore Team Purgatory! I was already a fan of Dean and Castiel, but Benny has been a really welcome addition. Ty seems to have fit right into the show and he and Jensen really have a lovely comrade/brother-in-arms chemistry that I really enjoy!

    But I am really disappointed that it seems to be over. I have loved the flashbacks we have gotten, but it feels like there was so much potential to this storyline and this realm that has been missed, and I’m disappointed that Carver has barely touched on it.

    Regardless, I do hope he keeps Benny around and I am loving this latest version of Dean! Takes no crap, no longer a doormat, no longer so depressed, harder and still a bit more feral. And yet at the heart of it all, still the same loyal, loving, heroic, self-sacrificing man that he has always been! Loving it!

    And I really don’t see the complaints about Sam’s story not being presented. Liane Balaban, who has played Amelia, has been in at least 6 episodes this season. And when she’s on, it’s All About Sam, because that’s the only regular character she interacts with or has a story with. This storyline is all Sam’s, focused entirely on him and his past, he doesn’t share it with anyone – even Dean – as Dean does the Purgatory storyline. Sam has had just as much focus and storyline and flashbacks as Dean (witness these past two episodes), there’s been a balance between two. Maybe it’s just that people don’t like his storyline as much, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s there. And unlike Dean’s Purgatory storyline which has ended, Sam’s will continue, Carver’s made it clear he’s a big fan and so is Jared.

    So I can understand if people don’t like it, I don’t like it either. But it’s definitely there and it’s been as present as Dean’s Purgatory flashbacks. Carver even made it the cliffhanger for the mid season break! I’d say that’s a pretty big deal and a lot of focus for Sam’s story.

    • Clarissa

      Our issue isn’t that Sam’s story hasn’t been presented, because we said that it has. I haven’t kept track of the number or length of flashbacks between Sam and Dean, but I suspect they’re even. The problem isn’t that Sam’s storyline hasn’t been present, but that it hasn’t been properly explained. We feel that Sam and Amelia’s relationship hasn’t really been portrayed in a way that would explain Sam’s love for her other than their shared loss. And, as Laura mentioned, it’s possible there’s something more going on behind the scenes because the writers haven’t been very forthcoming in terms of character development and motivation with his story.

      It’s my hope that there’s a bit more mystery revealed regarding Sam’s storyline. I don’t hate it, I just don’t see a normal, every day romance as something that belongs in the Supernatural universe. And, because of that, it’s not as interesting to me as Dean’s Purgatory flashbacks.

      • soberdriver

        I think that a lot of people’s problem with the story is that it shows Sam in a negative light and his behavior isn’t being totally excused by the show for once.

        I don’t want mystery because somehow it’ll magically absolve Sam of all blame, leaving Dean to face the music all by himself and I’m so tired of Fallen Idols and boo hoo princess speeches and the like. Why not have Sam be responsible for his life? I’m really grossed out by the idea that Sam is just a blameless puppet creature to be pitied while being simultaneously told to consider him a better and greater and smarter hunter/man than Dean. That’s a complete non-starter.

        Why is it so wrong to just want Sam to recognize that his behavior is harmful, say it aloud and work on himself without again deflecting blame on Dean? It’s like there’s something taboo about it. Dean does it every single season, multiple times to multiple people. As long as they keep Sam a muppet, I refuse to invest any caring into someone who’s not himself half the time. I need to know that it’s 100% him or it’s a complete waste of time for me. That’s what I hated about the souless Sam storyline. He could make Dean a monster and it didn’t ‘matter.’ I loathed that it basically was just a half season of a Sam-like creature torturing and mocking Dean and Dean ended up dying just to get Sam’s soul out of the cage, a favor which Sam has NOT returned.

        Sam got Martin killed. Martin would still be alive if Sam had sent him to Garth. I don’t care how dickish people keep saying Dean is when all I hear is people ignoring that Sam chose a mentally fragile man then drove off without a word in vampire territory and that man used a civilian as bait. It’s not just a matter of Dean’s feelings being hurt; it’s a matter or life and death where nobody can trust Sam not to do what he did to Martin again, considering he showed no guilt over what happened.

        • Lia

          Whoa, hold up! There’s plenty of blame to go around when it comes to Martin. Martin himself first of all because he should have known that he didn’t have the mental stability to go back into hunting. He should have been the one working in a diner.

          Sam never should have given Martin the job even if was just supposed to be tracking, and the Sam we used to know wouldn’t have I think. If there’s one thing that Sam used to be, it was empathetic. The old Sam would have tried to convince Martin to give up tracking. So, yeah, Sam shares some of the blame there.

          But to blame Sam about going off and leaving Martin without acknowledging Dean’s part in it is disingenuous. Sam did exactly what Dean counted on. Dean was the one who separated them, so Dean shares in the blame here. Sam shouldn’t have gone off and left him, but Dean counted on the phone call to Martin being the end of it. Dean is the one who most discounted Martin’s mental health. Knowing how set Martin was on destroying Benny, he should have tried to find Martin when he knew Sam was too far away.

          The fact is that Sam and Dean were sound wound up in hurting and thwarting one another, that they screwed up the hunt. One thing they’ve always been is great hunters, but they weren’t in this instance and it was solely because of personal issues. They weren’t working together, and it led to a man’s death.

        • Clarissa

          I’m not really clear on why you automatically assume that injecting mystery into Sam’s storyline will simply “excuse” the things he’s done. There’s a reason that we divided up discussion of Sam and Dean’s storylines at the beginning. While I believe that their relationship is the cornerstone of the show, they’re still individual characters with individual storylines. If there is more to Sam’s story with *Amelia* (not with Dean, as I said), then perhaps the angels or demons are interfering, etc. It just means that we might enjoy *Sam’s* storyline a bit more than seeing a normal love triangle play out, for example.

          As for the brothers, yes, we believe Sam has contributed to their problems. But so has Dean. Neither brother is blameless in this fight. Just because Dean and Sam react differently in fights doesn’t mean that Dean’s behavior is automatically excused just because he might admit that what he did was wrong 5 times to Sam’s 2 times. In the case of one of their current fights, Dean kept Benny a secret from his brother in an unnecessary move and – knowing how his words would affect Sam (or, at least, he should have) – has rubbed Benny in Sam’s face. It’s careless at best or pointedly mean at worst.

          So before the Dean fans jump on me, please be aware that the actions of BOTH boys over the last 8 years have contributed to their current state, at least in my opinion. And just because I want to enjoy Sam or Dean’s storyline, doesn’t mean either of them is given carte blanche. Not everything is about the Sam vs. Dean debate.

          • soberdriver

            Lets’s just say that I still remember Fallen idols where Sam basically told that Dean made him run off with Ruby, making it mostly Dean’s fault and how Dean had to change. I also remember Gamble making Dean basically stand trial for killing Amy and Sam left for ten days.

            So if this is all about everything is equally at fault then I wonder when Sam gets put on trial by a pagan god and Dean leaves him? Hmm? Funny how everything is supposed to be equal but the punishment!

            As for the mystery, being souless suddenly lifted all guilt & responsibility from Sam. I see this all the time where people blame everybody but Sam when he does something wrong. It’s demon blood, Ruby, Dean, Castiel, demons, fate, angels etc. And it’s the structure of the story that encourages it.

            People got so used to Sam slipsliding away from responsibility because of magical external forces or that ‘big bad bully meany Dean’ that it’s a bit of a shock to see the show pointing to his choices as the source of his problems for once. I for one am glad it’s doing so but I don’t trust Carver not to cave again to people who want Sam to be some ‘wounded baby bird’ that the show has to coddle because his feelings are of paramount importance!

          • Lia

            “As for the mystery, being souless suddenly lifted all guilt & responsibility from Sam.” No, nothing lifts the guilt from Sam, but jumping in the Pit with vengeful angels for eternity to save his brother and the world redeemed him. You don’t think he paid for what he did through hundreds of years of torture in the Cage and having Hallucifer riding shotgun in his head in S7? Really?

            But the fact is Dean has never trusted Sam’s judgment. He even had Sam apologizing last season regarding Amy despite the fact that he lied to Sam’s face about not hunting her. He’s just being more upfront about his distrust of Sam this season. Why should Sam trust Dean any more than Dean trusts him when Dean lies to him and kills his monster friends, but, oh, Dean can have monster friends and everyone should just believe him when he says they are trustworthy.

          • Clarissa

            Soberdriver – You know why having no soul meant that Sam wasn’t really responsible for his actions? Because HE HAD NO SOUL. Hence, his moral compass was essentially absent because that’s basically how Supernatural classifies a soul. If Dean had lost HIS soul after coming back from Hell and did what Sam did and then regained his soul, then I wouldn’t have held Dean responsible for it either. Even after Sam regained his soul he felt bad for the sins his soulless self had committed and wanted to atone.

            And – once again – injecting mystery into Sam’s relationship with Amelia *does not have anything to do with Dean*. It has to do with *Sam and Amelia*.

            This Sam vs. Dean debate is so tiresome. Does either side actually believe that one of the characters will just leave the show if they manage to “win”? I see people saying “well, Sam should just leave Dean if he doesn’t want to hunt with him”. You know why he’ll never make that choice? Because then you would have no show. So obviously the writers will *never, ever* go down that path. What *exactly* will be achieved if you manage to prove that Sam Winchester is somehow the biggest douche on the face of the earth? Or what will be achieved if the Sam fans prove that Dean is a domineering brother? Absolutely nothing will be achieved. It’s not going to get either Jared or Jensen kicked off the show and it’s not going to end with only one of the characters going to his brother and saying “I was the only one who screwed up, let’s not fight anymore. Or please beat the crap out of me until I learn my lesson and don’t screw up again”. So why are you insisting that we continue on with a debate that has no actual conclusion?

          • Lia

            “So before the Dean fans jump on me, please be aware that the actions of BOTH boys over the last 8 years have contributed to their current state, at least in my opinion. And just because I want to enjoy Sam or Dean’s storyline, doesn’t mean either of them is given carte blanche. Not everything is about the Sam vs. Dean debate.”

            Yes, thank you. I don’t understand where these fans are coming from. It isn’t a competition. They are both responsible for where they are in their relationship. Neither is a villain here. There isn’t a good guy and a bad guy. Holy crap, if there’s something we should all be learning from this show is that there is not black and white. There are shades of gray. That’s been the lesson since Bloodlust.

          • Sara

            All Deanfans want is for the blame to be portioned out equally this time and not as it was in Fallen Idols. The scene of their supposed mending of the relationship in that episode changed the dynamic of the brothers’ relationship drastically in an adverse way for many and in a way that has reverberated greatly through all of the following seasons for many also. Some, especially here, may not feel that way, but it is still so and I DO believe Carver knows this, feels it, and agrees-and that is the main reason that we’re getting this re-setting of the brothers’ relationship-because it was written so very poorly the first time and has affected the quality of the story and of the entire show immensely, ever since then. We’ll see, I guess.

          • Lia

            I’m not sure what your objection to Fallen Idols is. Is it that Dean acknowledged that Sam wasn’t alone in starting the apocalypse? Dean, however unknowingly, did break the first seal as Sam unknowingly broke the last. Dean was tortured, Sam was manipulated — both by a demon and by angels. The fact is that Dean wanted Lilith dead as well. Sam just got to her first.

          • Clarissa

            Sara – you don’t need to explain what Deanfans want to me. I’m a fan of Dean and all of the other characters. And I’ve said numerous times that blame for their problems should be laid on both boys’ shoulders and, hopefully, give them an opportunity to move past it in a meaningful way and not sweap it under the rug for the sake of moving on.

            I hope that this is what Carver is working towards. If it’s not, I’ll be disappointed. But none of us will know until we see what happens next.

  • muse

    I really enjoyed the purgatory storyline. What little we got of it and I am sad at all the missed opportunities for such a rich potential. I am also baffled by the fact that they going to shelve purgatory now, while continuing to dray out the Sam/Amelia chemistry-free snorefest.

    I am pleased to see some of the brothers’ issues resurfacing but am apprehensive that the resolution will once again sweep Sam’s far more serious offenses under the rug while making Dean, once again, take the brunt of the blame and responsibility to keep that toxic relationship afloat. It is this kind false equivocation that has made the brotherly bond such a one-sided and tragic joke to many of us who love Dean and feel that he deserves much better treatment from his brother and from the writers.

    A adore Benny and I hope they can work him back into the show again. What little we have seen of Cas, so far, has been gold. I am really enjoying both of their relationships with Dean, and again, feel like there was a huge missed opportunity in not showing us more the relationship between the three of them in purgatory.

    I have also really enjoyed getting smart, badass Dean back and am thrilled that he no longer puts up with Sam’s manipulations. I feel sad on his behalf, that he has become so used to Sam’s betrayals that he has put contingency plans in place in preparation for when it inevitably happens again. Dean no longer trusts Sam to have his back and rightly so after all they have been through.

    I hope the the writers honestly examine this turn in the relationship and have Sam finally own that he is directly responsible for his brother’s loss of trust and faith. If all we get is more suck-it-up speeches from the likes of Garth, where Sam never has to face the damage he has inflicted on his brother and their relationship, then this entire storyline will have been a waste and time and Sam’s character will have been damaged irreparably. But if Sam finally learns to respect and appreciate his brother, perhaps he can still be redeemed. I hope that is what Carver is talking about when he talks about the brothers’ maturing relationship, but I guess we shall see.

  • Lia

    I love Dean, but let’s be honest, he’s never trusted Sam’s judgment especially after Ruby. Sam has done nothing but apologize to Dean and Dean has never done likewise. Dean even stood there and lied straight-faced to Sam about Amy, and Sam ended up being the one to apologize there too. Even after Dean said that he felt wrong lying to Sam, he didn’t tell Sam about Benny. And while Dean felt completely justified in killing Amy, he came back with a vampire friend from Purgatory. He has to now doubt his own judgment in killing Amy and that’s why he let the girl go in Bitten and why he did hide Benny’s existence from Sam at first. Still, he hasn’t admitted that he may have been wrong. Everyone seems to understand why Dean doesn’t trust Sam, but why don’t they see that Sam can’t trust Dean when Dean continually lies to him and has made it clear that he trusts a monster whom he’s known for less than a year more than he does the brother who jumped into a pit with vengeful angels for him.

    Dean has a terrible habit of putting the people he loves on a pedestal — John, Sam, Castiel — and then when they prove themselves to be fallible humans, he holds grudges forever. Remember that blanket forgiveness speech Dean made at Rufus’ grave — apparently that meant nothing.

  • Lia

    Is anyone else troubled by the fact that while Dean has his best bud Castiel back and a new bff in Benny, Sam is once again utterly alone. He doesn’t even have Dean now. Is Sam forever to be the freak and failure? I keep thinking of Martin’s words as they are leaving the motel about a brother choosing a vampire over his brother, and Sam flashed back to meeting Don and deciding to leave Amelia. I can’t help but think that the conversation with Don led Sam to believe that Amelia would choose Don because Sam believes he is a freak who fails everyone he loves. Dean’s words about Benny never letting him down are only reinforcing that belief. Dean was the only one who ever chose Sam, and now even he is choosing someone else and a monster at that.

    • Amy

      I am terribly troubled that Sam is still alone and isolated. Carver said once that the boys would get other charectors to interact with. Well, Dean not only gets two charectors but ones that are NOT only family but he has a profound bond with AND are directly connected to the supernatural.

      Meanwhile Sam has some possible relationship that is inevitable to failure because she has no part of the supernatural world… the world Sam is destined to remain in until a bloody, lonely death People wonder why Sam wants out of hunting…well? He has no friends/family within the hunting world. he has no ‘port in the storm’ no one to talk to, no one just to hang with/talk to/joke with. No one to trust.

      Sure Sam has a brother who is a fellow hunter but they aren’t family (certainly not by Deans definition). And if Sam truely did fall apart after Dean and Cas went to purgatory well….I’m pretty sure Dean – Super Hunter that he is – would view it as some sort of betrayal not to mention weak.

      Honestly I wont be at all surprised if Dean switches sides. Hes already thrown his own son away like garbage; erased his memory so Dean doesn’t have to be bothered with that pesky connection coming back; he views monsters as family and more trustworthy. Dean, i’m pretty sure views Sams humanity as a weakness to exploit and manipulate as evidenced in Citizen Fang.

      • soberdriver

        I find it hilarious that you ignore all the times Sam threw people away like garbage (Dean, Kevin, Martin in just this season) and he’s the one who nearly lost his humanity to the point it took God to keep him human and was souless for half a season. Sam chose Ruby and Amy over Dean and constantly championing all sorts of monsters so if anything Sam’s the monster lover except in cases where Dean chose the monster instead of him.

        Also, he didn’t tell Jess about his former occupation and so far, it doesn’t appear that he’s told Amelia either. So, I wouldn’t be holding up Sam as some great catch who’s just let down by everybody else.

        • Amy

          You know what? I can admit when Sam is wrong. Sam was wrong to leave Martin.

          But Dean sending a fake plea for help to a HUNTER wasn’t smart, professional or humane. It was childish…something a 12 year old would and did do. Remember Ben’s phone call that got Dean to drop everything in the middle of a case? Did he remember his own fears; wondering what he would find when he arrived? If Dean did remember I have to wonder how he could use Amiela so easily? Especially after all the people Dean and Sam have lost over the years. Especially when he didn’t know her at all? she could have been disabled or have a terminal illness – an SOS from her could have been deadly serious.

          ean is a seasoned hunter. He intentionally sent that text to remove Sam from the scene. Obviously he knew Sam would leave…which also means he KNEW martin would be alone.

          So not only did Dean intentionally send a text that would leave Martin alone, Dean signed Martin’s death warrant by making sure Martin’s backup was gone. Did Dean just kick back with a piece of pie and wonder if Martin was dead yet?

          I wont shed a tear over Martin’s death – hes a hunter and he knew the risks – but NO ONE deserves to die so horribly or violently.

          BTW Sam didn’t choose ruby or Amy over Dean. Sam choose Ruby’s really bad plan over Deans non existant one. Amy…..he looked into a hunt and then asked Dean to trust him. is Asking Dean to trust him is your critiera for choosing Amy over Dean…well…. how long as Dean been asking Sam to trust HIM about benny?

          • Lia

            I pretty much agree with everything here. I hadn’t thought of Ben’s distress call but that’s a really good point. It makes it more clear that Dean did know exactly what he was doing, and it wasn’t impulsive. He’d planned it out to be used when he needed it.

            And I think that the parallels between Sam’s situation with Amy and Dean’s with Benny are intentional and obvious. I don’t understand how anyone can just ignore that Dean lied to Sam’s face about intending to hunt her and then hid the fact that he had. His statement this season that he never betrayed Sam, shows that he doesn’t recognize his own behavior for what it is. Despite his relationship with Benny, he’s not taking responsibility for his past actions.

            This isn’t to say that Sam hasn’t screwed up. He has, but that doesn’t absolve Dean of his responsibility in where things now stand between them.

          • Clarissa

            I agree with this as well. In “Citizen Fang” both boys did wrong. Sam probably shouldn’t have put Crazy Martin on Benny and left him without a word, while Dean shouldn’t have sent that text (frankly, fooling Sam and separating him from Martin wasn’t a good idea).

            I’ve joked that the only person who really came across as sympathetic in the episode was Benny, but the serious point is that both brothers have contributed to the situation.

            But I’m not heartless. I WANT them to repair their relationship. I don’t want it to take the rest of the season either. But if they can start on the foundation that they’ve both made mistakes and take it from there, then I’m ok with the discord, even if I don’t like it.

            And re: Ruby – Sam wasn’t really choosing her (although he was somewhat choosing her plan over Dean’s)….I’ve always felt that he was falling prey to his addiction and his desire for vengeance. Even when Dean pointed out that he had returned, Sam still choose to pursue it. Season 4 was definitely a moment of weakness for Sam, but at the heart of what he was doing was Dean. Does that excuse it? No. Which is why he’s tried to make amends for it.

          • Sara

            To Dean, Sam chose Ruby over him-and after the spectre possession we know that Dean still feels this way even though he’s buried it. The parallel I’m seeing in this situation, is that now Sam is experiencing exactly what that feels like with, in his(Sam’s) mind, Dean choosing Benny over him. I thought that was clearly spelled out in this one when Martin said to Sam that line about how it feels when your brother chooses a vampire over you; Martin’s added “I know how I’d feel…” being especially telling in that regard, IMO.

          • Lia

            The funny thing about that scene is how what it triggered in Sam’s mind was the memory of how his conversation with Don (who insisted that they respect Amelia’s “choice”) led to Sam leaving her. He didn’t expect her to choose him in the end, so he left. And now even Dean isn’t choosing him. He’s choosing a monster instead. Sam has always believed he was a freak and he fails everyone. Even Dean has given up on him. I don’t think, although we’re supposed to see it, that Sam is making the connection with Ruby and Benny because in his mind he wasn’t choosing Ruby over Dean. He was choosing her plan over Dean’s. He was manipulated and addicted. But I don’t think that Dean believes he’s choosing Benny over Sam either, but that’s how it feels to Sam. Again, it’s a matter of perspective.

          • Gerry

            Dean sent the text to Sam to make sure Sam and Benny did not fight, because either one or the other would end up dead and Dean wanted to keep both safe. He had no other option to stop Sam from tracking Benny down. Sam was done listening to Dean. And since Martin was tracking Benny, while Benny was with Sam meeting the real killer vampire, Martin was not in any particular danger from the text. He got into trouble when he decided to pursue killing Benny after Dean told him the case was solved, which was his own brand of crazy.

        • mobanon

          Give me a break. Your Sam hate is getting monotonous.

      • Deidra

        I’d respond to your comment but alas, my cable company doesn’t carry the “Dean Haters” version of the show.

      • silver

        You make it sound like Dean is never there for poor wounded bird Sam, but the truth is, Dean is always there for Sam. Always has been. When Sam put Ruby before Dean, Dean was always there there for Sam. And yet, here you are making Sam once again the victim and Dean needs to be all about Sam. Because Sam is so hurt.

        I think Sam should grow up. Nothing says immature like Sam blaming everything on everyone else, especially Dean.

        Sam has Amelia, Sam had Ruby, Sam has Dean. The only ones Sam gave his full trust and love to are Amelia and Ruby.

        I feel it’s about time Dean has someone else besides Sam. Someone that respets him and thinks of him as more than just a tool to use and discard whenever he’s done with him. Which is how I see Sam has been treating Dean for years, as a tool for him, needed when he’s in trouble, but otherwise, discarded.

        As for Dean and Ben. Dean did it to save Ben and Lisa. But anyone who wants to make Dean look bad to defend the poor wounded baby bird isn’t going to admit that.

        I hope Carver doesn’t throw Dean under the bus to appease the loud and few. This show is finally getting some recognition again, and I feel the purgatory story as well as Cas coming back and the addition of Benny has helped.

        • Lia

          Again, Sam didn’t choose Ruby over Dean. He chose Ruby’s bad plan over Dean’s non-existent plan. Remember, they had the same goal: To kill Lilith.

          Sam doesn’t have Amelia. He left her before Dean ever came back. He didn’t ‘have’ Ruby. He was used by Ruby and addicted to her blood.

          “I feel it’s about time Dean has someone else besides Sam.” Um, Castiel? Since S4?

          I don’t know how Dean has been a tool for Sam. That implies that he’s used Dean. For what? To what end? Sam spent all of S3 trying to find a way to save Dean from his deal with the crossroads demon. He nearly went insane trying to find a way to save Dean in Mystery Spot. Seeing Dean die over and over broke something in him. And Sam’s love for his brother is what gave him the strength to jump into the Pit. He did it to keep Lucifer from killing Dean and to save the world. Did you not watch Swan Song?

          I get that you hate Sam, but when you choose to forget or twist every good thing he’s done to justify that hate … I can’t even …

          • elian

            “Again, Sam didn’t choose Ruby over Dean.”

            Yes he did. Sam chose to be in a relationship with a demon who mocked and laughed at Dean’s impending trip to hell. He had sex with her and drank her blood… the same Ruby who wished she could be there to hear Dean’s screams as the flesh was being torn off his body in hell. He trusted her on her word that her plan was the only way to kill Lilith. Sam chose Ruby over Dean.

          • Lia

            Sam really hooked up with Ruby after Dean went to hell, and I think it is important to remember what Sam was like after Dean died in The Mystery Spot (something I’d argue he never really recovered from). When Dean went to hell, Sam would have done just about anything for revenge, so the idea that he “chose Ruby over Dean” isn’t even the issue. He was desperate and agreed to Ruby’s plan and her tutelage because he wanted more than anything to get Lilith. Ruby expertly manipulated him and got him hooked on demon blood. By the time that Dean returned from Hell, the seeds had already been sown. He didn’t choose Ruby over Dean, he chose Ruby because of Dean, but Dean has never understood that. Some fans don’t put that together. They forget his desperate attempts to save Dean from Hell and choose to remember how betrayed Dean was by Sam hooking up with Ruby.

        • mobanon

          I don’t see Dean as the poor wounded bird either. No one is forcing Dean to do anything he doesn’t want to do. Dean has many of his own flaws so let’s just concentrate on those.

  • silver

    Citizen Fang was so good. Well the Dean/Benny/Martin parts. The scene at the diner was so suspensful. Kudos to the writers in holding the mystery and suspense of Benny.

    I feel Benny is a great addition to the show. I hope Carver keeps him and decides to eventually have him join Team Free Will.

    I can only hope that the purgatory story isn’t done. I so hope that Dean has more to do than once again worry about Sam. Which is why I feel the purgatory story was so successful. It helps when good material is given to Jensen. He can do so much with so little, but when given a great story, he can really raise the bar.

    I don’t feel that Sam is being ignored. He’s been given more story with Amelia than Dean had been with Lisa/Ben. He’s been given part of the Benny story by being the catalyst that created Citizen Fang. Dean, while being a lead, seems once again to be relegated to reacting to everyone else’s stories and I hope that like the first half, Carver gives Dean a more active storyline again. It’s only fair. Sam’s had a central part in the show since the Pilot. Dean had barely one season of being part of the mytharc before it was given away.

    This time I would love it for Dean to be front and center, as a lead should be. That’s not to say that Sam can’t be there also, but in the past, it’s always been Sam’s solo journey with Dean holding SuperSam’s cape. I would like more of an equal balance for this season.

    So far, I think Carver has done good, and I feel that if Sam is to grow up, he needs to realize that maybe for once, he’s not the center of the universe for Dean. He needs to realize that he can’t do what he’s done in the past, blackmail Dean into doing what he wants, or else he’ll leave.

    But I do feel it is time for the guys to break up. Sam wants nothing to do with hunting, or Dean. It’s time Sam got his wish.

    • Clarissa

      Hi Silver, I agree that Citizen Fang was very well done! But I think you might have misunderstood our complaint about Sam. The point isn’t that Sam is being ignored (because you’re right, his story with Amelia has been given more time than the Dean/Lisa thing), but just that it hasn’t really been properly explained to the audience in a way that we understand what happened over the last year. The point isn’t to give Sam more *time*, but to make those scenes that he does have more explanatory and resonate more with the audience.

      But you’re right about the Purgatory stuff. It was terrific and, as always, Jensen nailed it!

      As for the breaking up…I honestly don’t think that will ever happen. You can’t really have a show called Supernatural if only one brother is hunting and the other brother is living in the suburbs. I suspect that the boys’ interaction with their grandfather in the upcoming episode might actually convince Sam that his place is in the hunting life. Spoilers seem to indicate that.

      • Lia

        Yes, and anyone who thinks that Sam actually wants nothing to do with hunting or with Dean doesn’t understand Sam. Much as he fights it or wants to deny it, Sam is a hunter. It’s in his blood. That was apparent when he said to Dean, “I may be that hunter who runs into Benny and ices him.” His unconscious acknowledgement that he is in fact a hunter was very telling.

        If he really wanted nothing to do with Dean, Dean’s statements about Benny never letting him down and being able to trust Benny wouldn’t cut Sam to the bone the way they do. It was pretty clear in fight scenes earlier in the season and from Sam’s frantic rush to Dean in Blood Brother, that Sam fears losing Dean again.

        Of course Sam isn’t going to go off and live in the suburbs. He doesn’t belong in that world, and I think that he recognizes that. His speech to Fred about living in a dream world was his recognition of that.

        The selective way that some fans view the show baffles me.

        • Sally

          Selective is a fair accusation but also at times it is based on what is being given there isnt always a element of plucking it out of the air. My problem is in some respects is the show has a very heavy Dean perspective that isnt always tempered with a Sam one. This season I have felt disappointed by not only the brother aspect brought up in the Benny relationship but Dean bringing up past resentments to aim at Sam. It feels like neither ourselves and Sam will ever be allowed to move on from them that when it is time to ratify a Dean relationship it is the old resentment Sam past mistakes chestnut brought out .
          I think thats why some feel that Sam is in abit of a impossible situation and although we know in reality it will not happen that Sam should not hunt with Dean. I want a brothers relationship but it not one be based on Dean’s hurts and ingrained resentments but with both having a stake in it and a pov but thats a personal perspective not one others should agree with.

          • Lia

            I agree completely. We do get more Dean POV than Sam POV. We see Dean talk to Cas, to Benny, to Bobby, to Sam. We rarely get Sam really talking to anyone. But that isn’t any reason for fans to twist what they do see of Sam’s actions and words into something they aren’t, and there are those who do.

            I too want the boys to be together, but the resentments and grudges need to be let go.

          • Sara

            I’m sorry, but I think we’ve often gotten Sam’s POV and perspective. I just think that sometimes(often, IMO) his fans just don’t like his perspective and/or POV and it’s this that is being addressed by Carver in S8. I’m sure Sam will be given(and we will be shown) sympathetic reasons for everything that Sam has ever done series-long, in the second half of this season-but it doesn’t change the fact that even if he is given sympathetic reasons for doing those things-DEAN has often never been privy to them, and so, has been hurt terribly by them-series-long. And I DO also believe that with Dean, Carver is also exploring the thought that even when there’s sympathetic reasoning behind why someone you love might hurt you, the toll of it continously happening is still very high, and this, even from situations in which those loved ones ARE mostly blameless(SoullessSam).

      • Sara

        I meant to add that sympathetic reasonings for Sam do not necessarily have to equate to the right reasonings for any given situation. Sam not looking for Dean or leaving Kevin out in the cold or bringing Martin into the hunt should not be held up as good decisions by Sam, IMO. He SHOULD be written as feeling remorseful of doing those things if the character is to be thought of as a genuine human being, IMO. I think that by rarely having the brothers discuss Sam’s faults and flaws-the writers have very often failed the character in that human sense through the text-and this is especially glaring because since S5, the writers have predominantly focused on Dean’s faults and flaws in the brotherly dialogues and so through the text of the show. Again, I’m hoping that Carver will change the writing as regards this to make things between the brothers more balanced and to imbue Sam with a bit more “humanity” through their discussing the things that Sam needs to work on within the context of the brothers’ hunting partnership, as well as within the context of their familial relationship.

        • Clarissa

          Sara – I agree with a portion of what you’ve said. Despite the fact that both boys make mistakes – and generally achknowledge them at one point or another – I still believe that they should feel remorseful and take steps to try and atone for these mistakes. Otherwise they seem false as characters.

          But I do respectfully disagree with the second part of your comment – that the writers have focused more on Dean’s faults and flaws in recent years. I agree that a great deal of the brotherly dialogue is more focused on Dean, but I don’t think it’s about his flaws. I think it’s more about his *feelings*, which is what Sam was trying to get out of him back in season 7 when Dean was particularly depressed. Dean’s ambivalence about hunting was a bit topic last year that did resurface several times, but that’s not really a flaw.

          Given the fact that Dean actually laid Sam’s misdeeds at his feet in “Southern Comfort”, I think it’s time they both cleared the air on real and perceived slights on both sides and then worked on repairing their relationship.

          • Marie

            “Given the fact that Dean actually laid Sam’s misdeeds at his feet in “Southern Comfort””

            But see, to me what they did there was a huge misstep by the writers. Because I’m at the point now where I’m here thinking, if Sam suffering 200 years in Satan’s cage wasn’t enough for Sam to atone for his bad choices in S4, what could possibly be enough for Dean to ever forgive him? If they’d just focused Dean’s ire on Sam’s [perceived or otherwise] misdeeds from this season, it would have been one thing, but them showing that Dean hasn’t forgiven Sam for a single thing in the past 5 years (including holding a grudge for Sam’s being SOULLESS?) and that their sacrifices for each other have meant nothing beyond surface level is just going to make me doubt that Dean will ever truly forgive Sam, no matter what he claims.

            It’s sad that I’ve gone from being one of the biggest fans of the brothers to hoping they can somehow escape their hurtful and toxic relationship. It’s almost like the writers are adopting one of those “will they, won’t they” plot contrivances of constantly throwing obstacles in the way of the brothers’ relationship that need to be ~overcome, but taking it to the extent they have this far in the show’s run just creates more frustration than hope that ~THIS TIME~ it’ll be different. After a certain point, the audience just starts to hope the characters can escape the dysfunction and find happiness somewhere.

          • Lia

            The whole tirade about Ruby and the demon blood and being soulless when he was under the influence of the specter was simply old memories being accessed by the specter. The tip off there is his mention of Sam being soulless because Dean never blamed any of that on Sam. He knew that Sam wasn’t responsible because “Sam” wasn’t there. Sam thinks that Dean meant it because Sam still has guilt over all those issues, but I think that Dean was sincere at Rufus’ grave when he made that blanket forgiveness. Dean’s anger at Sam is all related to the hurt he feels that Sam didn’t look for him and it goes back to his abandonment issues.

            But I agree with you on how this is feeling like a contrivance that’s growing tiresome this far into the series. Enough already.

          • Clarissa

            Marie – blaming Sam for not tell Dean that he was soulless was a huge mistake and I recall mentioning that in my review for that particular episode. I won’t deny that you’ve asked a tough question: how much more should Sam pay for the things he’s done?

            If I had to wager a guess, I would say that while Sam has clearly atoned for his sins, Dean has never really gotten over it. He holds on to grudges and pain because that’s how he deals (because he, like Sam, is emotionally stunted and because of his low self-esteem). That’s actually why I had hoped that Sam would shoot back with some of his own arguments against Dean. Maybe they can finally get it all out. If Carver really is trying to give the brothers a more mature relationship, then both Sam and Dean need to learn to actually move past these slights so that they don’t need to bring up mistakes from 4 years ago when they fight or hold on to things because they can’t properly communicate with each other.

            P.S. This is the kind of debate I really enjoy!

          • Sara

            In this instance, Sam jumping into the plot hole of doom had nothing whatsoever to so with the brother’s personal relationship. It was all about Sam’s guilt and redemption over starting the Apocalypse. Conversely, Dean’s guilt and any hope for his redemption as regards starting the Apocalypse having been tossed aside by the writers, IMO; as were the problems within the brothers personal relationship, again IMO. And while I think Carver is not yet attempting to address the former(and I doubt that he ever will), I DO think he’s attempting to address the latter as regards the missteps that the previous showrunners left him with. But again, we’ll have to wait and see even in this-resolutions to the brother conflicts being the sticking points of the writing on this show since forever, IMO.

  • Shereile

    I have no problem with the lack of Cas and Sam scenes, because people are blowing it out of proportions. Sam and Cas never truly have seen eye to eye. And I’m also not in support of sharing toys between the brothers. Castiel shouldn’t be shared around. He’s his own individual character and if he chooses to like Dean more than Sam, then that’s it.
    The show could do better by giving Sam cool characters to interact with. He really doesn’t have that.
    As for Purgatory. Let’s not forget that Purgatory was a character development arc, which served to show that Dean puts the life of Castiel before his own, even before reuniting with his brother. It truly made Dean’s and Castiel’s bond stronger, as has been shown when Cas immediately figured out that Dean blames himself for “failing” his friend. The Benny arc is also not just used to drive a wedge between the brothers, but to show Dean’s level of maturity by seeing the world in gray, and not black and white.
    What I truly want is for Dean to get a mythology storyline (similar to Sam’s Lucifer, demon blood arc of 5 seasons). Dean is often pushed aside and relegated to watching people being manipulated around him (Sam, Cas). Hell, even Cas gets more storylines than Dean. This season proves it by connecting Cas to Naomi and her manipulation.
    Dean so far seems to be irrelevant to higher powers, is not manipulated (at least not now) and with Sam there isn’t much either. For now.
    Basically, Sam needs other characters to interact with and Dean needs a singular storyline, where someone is out for his blood and his blood only.

    • Lia

      Castiel isn’t a toy to be shared or otherwise, and I don’t expect him to be Sam’s bff. Although, they have so much in common as far their story arcs, so it’s a shame really that they can’t be friends. Certainly, Sam has tried. But what bothers me is that given how concerned Sam has been about Benny and Cas was in Purgatory with Benny, that Sam didn’t think to ask Cas about him. That just seems like an obvious move on Sam’s part.

      But Sam isn’t acting all that much like any Sam we’ve seen this season. It seems funny that some said Sam is more centered now than he’s been in a long time because he’s a far cry from zen-like Sam from last season when he had Lucifer in his head. But then it seems like we’re getting some S1 Sam redux sans all the character development of the last two seasons. I find that frustrating.

    • Marie

      “I’m also not in support of sharing toys between the brothers. Castiel shouldn’t be shared around.”

      Are you serious with this? Why shouldn’t Cas be allowed to develop as a character outside of his friendship with Dean? Isn’t that what this whole season is based around, that developing outside relationships helps make relationships between characters stronger? Or is that only true between Sam and Dean, and you think Cas would abandon Dean ~forever at the first new friend he makes?

      • Carl

        I think there is a very real fear that Sam/Cas would make Cas say the same dialogue to Dean that has angered some fans over the years – “suck it up, princess,” stifle your pain, get over yourself, this isn’t about you. I think some fans are so wary of this and feel like Cas was one of the very few who put a priority on what Dean felt.

        I think there should have been more of a Sam/Cas relationship. Misha Collins has said he and Jared Padalecki don’t work together that much because Jared breaks him up all the time, but I doubt that’s the real reason. I think the show just has never known how to write for the two of them together. There’s a lot of history there, some deeply unpleasant, and often glossed over, probably because since Cas is around so infrequently, there is little need to write a relationship between them. When people say, “Cas and Sam are best friends!” I just scratch my head a little, because…they’re not. I’d say Cas cares about Sam as Dean’s brother, and at times as a friend, and only hurt him when he felt he had no choice. I’d say that Sam tried to accept Cas’ regrets and atonement and is fine with Cas being around, but would likely not be able to deal with him on a regular basis again, since so much has changed since the last time Cas was around on a regular basis.

        • Lia

          “only hurt him when he felt he had no choice.”
          I still have a problem with the idea that Castiel’s only choice was to break Sam’s wall. He has angelic power, but he couldn’t confine Dean, Sam, and Bobby in some way, physically or otherwise, until his plan was carried out? My other problem with that is that Castiel certainly didn’t know Dean very well if he thought that would stop him.

          Also, Castiel has never properly apologized to Sam (only when Sam was still out of his head in the mental ward). Sam may not have a problem with that but I do. The truth is, I’m not sure how Cas feels about Sam. Jared said that he doesn’t think that Cas has been a friend to Sam, which I think is a legitimate observation from the guy who should know, but he was attacked for the statement.

          I agree that Cas cares for Sam as Dean’s brother, but I don’t really see that it goes further than that. Sam has always cared about Cas and tried to befriend him, but Cas has done little to be a friend to Sam. Even his less than successful rescue of Sam from the Cage can be seen as an attempt to stop Dean’s grief. The way he ignored Sam’s prayers when he was soulless seems to suggest that he cared little about Sam himself.

          That’s why his apology to Sam in the mental hospital struck an odd note. I can really only put it down to Castiel being sorry about everything at that point. I’d really love to ask Ben Edlund how he’s interprets Castiel’s feelings for Sam.

          • Carl

            When did Jared make the statement (what season, I mean)? Certainly starting by season 6, I would agree with him. In season 5, I do think Cas cared about Sam – not compared to how he felt about Dean, but he said, “Sam is my friend,” and refused to go along with Anna’s plans against Sam. Season 6 was when they began pushing Cas off the show, and you had scenes like Sam, even with his soul, and no real reason to distrust Cas at that point, refusing to hug him.

            I never thought that much of Cas’ plan with Sam’s wall – I mostly think this was just poor writing designed to make fans hate Cas and be happy when he was gone. I guess for the character, the idea was that he was going for Dean’s most vulnerable spot, but, as you said, this didn’t make a lot of sense, because nothing would stop Dean. I just told myself that Cas knew the only way to see his plans through was to kill Dean, and he couldn’t stomach this.

            During the times that Sam was praying, Cas was in the middle of war (and even the first time he answered Dean, he was still fighting a war), although since Sam was soulless that entire time I ended up wondering what he even said.

            In season 7, I got the feeling they were trying to say that Cas saw Dean and Sam in the same light, the main difference being that Dean pushed him and Sam held back. This season, Sam seemed to get along well enough with Cas and then in the next he was kind of rude. It’s all weird. I don’t think they are deliberately ignoring Cas breaking the wall, I think they’ve just decided to ignore this and move on (as Sam is presumably doing). I do think Cas would have apologized, again. I will just assume he did, offcamera.

            I think over the years the show has had a rigid practice of “Sam friends” and “Dean friends” and this doesn’t seem to change. It makes me a little sad when Sam walks into a room and both Dean and Cas immediately stop talking. If Cas ever appears more than a handful of times a season, I hope that will change.

          • Lia

            As I recall, Jared said that at a con earlier this year.

            I hate that hug scene. It has caused such angst in the fandom. As I see it, Sam was suspicious at that point. Prior to calling on Cas, Sam had talked to Bobby who behaved strangely, so Sam suspected that something wasn’t right. Cas doing something as out of character as offering him a hug just confirmed that they were all hiding something from him. That’s when he tricked Cas into telling him that he’d been without his soul.

            My problem with the “Sam friends” and “Dean friends” thing is that it always seems to be Dean who gets the friends. Secondary characters almost always gravitate to Dean (as do most fans apparently), and maybe it’s normal that one sibling is more outwardly charming. It’s funny though when we look at their history because Sam was the more sociable and empathetic.

            I hadn’t noticed Sam being rude to Cas. I’ll have to watch for that. I agree that if we see much more of Castiel this season, I hope that Sam is more included.

          • Clarissa

            Lia & Carl – when we went to Vancouver, Jared told us that Sam and Castiel’s relationship had been strained in earlier seasons because Sam used to cavort with Ruby and obviously Castiel wouldn’t look favorably on him working with a demon like that.

            Of course, a lot has changed since season 4. Castiel himself worked with Crowley. Frankly, I think that Cas and Sam had always had a great deal in common. Sam’s arc in season 4 and Cas’ arc in season 6 were incredibly similar (going to great and terrible lengths for the purpose of the ends justifying the means). Since then, I think that there’s a lot of common ground to be found between these two. Not because I think that Cas HAS to be friends with Sam because he’s friends with Dean, but just because the two are allies who are fighting on the same side and actually have a lot in common.

            I don’t think Sam or Cas is really overly rude to one another (except for that whole “Sam is an abomination thing”, but that’s pretty much Cas being Cas). I just think that they’re not terribly close. But I think they’ve gotten a lot better over the years.

  • Lora

    All of this! ^^^

  • Clarissa

    I’m not going to address your entire comment (although you’re taking specific quotes out of context to argue against them and seem to be very selective about it), but I am going to say that I’m offended you’ve labelled us as misogynists when you’ve completely misunderstood the entire point we were making about Amelia. Please don’t slap a label on someone when you don’t really understand what it is they’re saying.

    First of all, there is mention in many other parts of the article that we LIKE many of the female characters on the show. Second, the problem we have with Amelia isn’t that she’s a *woman*, it’s that the Sam and Amelia relationship (1) doesn’t really fit in with our overall idea of Supernatural, and (2) hasn’t been explained in a way that makes sense.

    What part of that did you take to mean that we hate women and only like white hetero males? (Now we’re racist and homophobic, too? That’s unbelievably offensive). Because not only is that NOT the intention behind our words, but that’s never actually MENTIONED in our words. It would be nice if you didn’t accuse us of a crime we didn’t actually commit. And if you’re going to take issue with an article we’ve written, then argue against the point we’re actually making, instead of randomly making up something just because we didn’t agree with you.

    P.S. In what way did Castiel betray Dean? Well, the fact that he lied to him for most of season 6 (and was very torn over this, as he admitted in “The Man Who Would be King”) and then the fact that he broke the wall in Sam’s head just to keep the Winchesters occupied while he was putting his plan into effect. I love Castiel as a character, but please don’t whitewash his entire history just to suit your purposes. Castiel has made a point to ATONE for his sins, part of which includes those he committed against Dean (and Sam, obviously).

    And in addition to not being a misogynist, I’m also not an idiot. I fully understand and appreciate the layers that make up Castiel. Suggesting that I don’t when you completely misinterpret portions of the article basically cancels out your statement against us.

  • Lia

    Okay, I’m getting tired of the accusation of misogyny every time someone doesn’t like a female character. There have been lots of great female characters on the show — Ellen, Jo, Pamela, Sarah, Jody, Annie — but I haven’t yet seen Amelia do anything to convince me that she’s “amazing.”

    The biggest problem for that character was the way in which she was introduced when Sam brought Dog into the clinic. She was unprofessional (I’m saying that as someone who’s worked at animal hospitals), manipulative, bullying, and later at her apartment she came across as judgmental and elitist. Now, looking back, I can see that much of her unpleasant behavior was defense mechanism — walls that she put up to keep people away — but it is hard to overcome a very bad first impression.

    While I can appreciate her for having the backbone to stand up to her dad and say, “Hey, me and this guy are screwed up but we’re screwed up together. Let us be.” She gave Sam focus and stability when he needed it, but that’s because it is exactly what she needed too. I don’t know why that makes her amazing.

    • Clarissa

      Thank you. I’m unbelievably offended that someone would throw around a hateful word like misogynist just because I don’t think one of their characters was “amazing”. And our problem wasn’t even with Amelia herself, but with her relationship with Sam and the way it’s been unevenly written and portrayed. Suggesting that I hate woman when I’m a woman myself is utterly ridiculous.

  • Lia

    Oh, and Dean didn’t start drinking at 7.01. He’s been a functioning alcoholic since at least Sam, Interrupted. If you recall he was drinking heavily and popping pills in S6 when he screwed up, accidentally broke the demon trap, and Cas had to save him.

    His drinking did increase in S7, which was a result of the betrayal and it’s aftermath — Cas’s ‘death’ and Sam’s broken wall. It wasn’t just about Cas’s death though. And it still bothers me how easily Dean forgave Cas for that when he knew exactly what he was doing and should have known that it wouldn’t make Dean back off. It was an incredibly cruel thing to do. The idea that it was his only option is just ridiculous. He chose to willfully destroy Sam’s mind. Dean can forgive Cas that, but he continues to drag Ruby and every other little petty thing Sam’s ever done out when Sam disappoints him.

    I agree that Cas wasn’t ‘crazy’ in S7 unless they mean crazy like a fox. “And another thing – if you don’t understand Castiel and all the layers of him, then just don’t comment, just say: ‘He is too complicated for me!’” Yes! and I wish folks would do the same with Sam.

  • Carl

    My biggest issue with the brother storyline this season is that I no longer believe Sam cares about Dean. I hear people say that Dean needs to be humbled, and isn’t he so arrogant and all the rest, and that Dean’s story needs to be about shattering his illusions, but what’s left to shatter? Dean has very little left. He’s used to being let down. He’s used to letting other people down.

    Dean has one friend (although I think Cas and Dean sort of crossed that line a while back) who is gone for long periods of time, often “gone” as in “dead”, has repeatedly said he wants to die, and whose mental state in Purgatory was so traumatizing to Dean that he actually had to create false memories in order to deal with the pain. Dean has another friend who is a vampire, and who almost by necessity can’t spend too much time around Dean or his life. And now Dean knows that his involvement in Benny’s life may have been partially responsible for Benny killing and maybe feeding on a human being.

    I don’t think Dean has friends and Sam has no one. Sam probably will have Amelia (although I don’t really know what that’s worth, as their relationship mostly seemed to be based on some idea that they were both worthless so they should be worthless together). Sam would have Dean, if Sam wanted Dean in his life.

    Instead, Sam seemed to actively resent Dean, and resent Dean being alive, at the start of this season. And I haven’t seen this addressed by the show. That’s not brothers who love but fight. That’s one brother who says he’s just plain done.

    The danger of this season is they have invited viewers to actually want a show with Dean and Sam estranged, and living their own lives. And if this all ends with another story about how Dean is damaged and needs to remember that he lives for Sam, it’s just going to make the whole thing very bitter.

    • soberdriver1

      I agree with you, Carl. Dean doesn’t have much. His friends are an angel and a vampire, both of which are intermittent at best sources of comfort and pain. He really has jack squat. It’s like kicking a rescue dog when he’s down because not enough bones are broken. They’re already trying to strip the kickass edge he has from Purgatory from him and if that’s the direction they’re going, I’m bailing.

      Every single insult fans of Sam hurl at Dean to defend Sam’s wounded pride do nothing but make me want them to split up more. Considering various posters here say that Dean is the worst brother then I don’t get they want them to stick together since he’s nothing to them but an anchor around Sam’s neck keeping him from being the Boy King or whatever.

      I don’t want the hideous blaze of glory series ending. I want an ending where both are happy but living separate lives.

      • Carl

        For me a good ending would be Sam and Dean still close, both still pursuing the supernatural, but also with lives of their own. I’m not sure that will ever happen though. I do want Dean and Sam to be close. Just not with the imbalanced power dynamics.

        Citizen Fang had a lot of clunky writing. I think they may have had Dean as weaker in order to heighten viewer fear that Sam would kill Benny and Dean couldn’t stop him. There was some OOC stuff for Sam in the episode too.

      • mobanon

        You’ve done more than your fair share of hurling insults at Sam and calling him the worst brother ever so don’t act all huffy if sometimes, the insults go the other way. Turnabout is fair play.

    • Lia

      “Sam seemed to actively resent Dean, and resent Dean being alive, at the start of this season.” You have to watch the beginning of the season carefully to see the difference between what Sam says and how he behaves because during fight scenes, Sam is completely focused on Dean and anxious for him. That came to head in Blood Brother when he frantically raced to aid Dean only to find him with a vampire buddy. (That had to feel a little like betrayal to Sam, but of course, Dean would never get that.)

      You have to remember that Sam had just spent yet another year grieving for his brother — first there was Mystery Spot and then when Dean actually went to Hell — and every time Sam has gone off the deep end. I don’t see why we should think that this time was any different. (Let’s not blame Sam because Carver hasn’t shown us.) Sam said that he felt like his world imploded, the lost his brother and he ran, that Amelia saved him.

      I don’t understand why some fans don’t see that at a moment when Sam finally felt like maybe he was getting some equilibrium, Dean’s return felt like the beginning of the cycle all over again. Hunting with Dean is just the beginning of losing him again.

      • Carl

        I think you’re right about Sam, and going over the whole course of the show I do think Sam cares about Dean and wants Dean in his life. Unfortunately I think the episodes this season did a very dubious job of showing this. I think it is fundamentally against the core of the show – love it or hate it, the show was built on the idea that the brothers would be together (at least until the end of the series). I really would like to see them as close without more rehashing over who is right and who is wrong and who did what to whom. There’s a difference between making fans angst and deliberately riling fans, and I think the show slipped into the latter with the Dean/Sam this season.

        • Lia

          I couldn’t agree more, Carl.

  • Amy

    I’m kind of…amazed the way Castiel has been left out of Dean’s portion of your article? So far, Cas has been so, hugely integral to Dean’s story this season, and yet he’s barely mentioned here.

    Dean’s WHOLE YEAR in purgatory fighting alongside Benny? …That was spent trying to find Castiel, who Dean prayed to every night.

    The fact that Dean could’ve gotten out much earlier and been home to Sam…but his number one priority was getting Cas out.

    The fact that he didn’t get Cas out and it weighed so heavily on his conscience, that 99% of his PTSD, AND the flashbacks, were directly related to Cas, and Cas NOT getting out.

    How about the fact that Dean didn’t even trust Benny until he proved himself to Dean by SAVING Cas?

    Or…all of 8×07? Where we truly see how much it has been tearing Dean apart all this time?

    Maybe 8×08 where Dean is finally starting to seem back to normal again because he has his brother by his side, and his best friend at his other?

    I’m just so confused! There have only been 9 episodes, and Cas has been a HUGE part of Dean’s arc and we’re, what, pretending like he’s not? What the heck? I’m just flabbergasted.

    • Amy

      And don’t even get me started on how much Dean’s interactions with Cas has shown Dean’s character development and emotional growth! I mean, outright telling him he needed him in purgatory, something Dean Winchester has not said since saying it to his own father, or the fact that when Cas seems to be down or sad, Dean wants to talk it out with him. This is such a different Dean Winchester from past seasons, but it’s mostly when he’s around Cas, and it’s obvious. I just don’t understand why it’s being ignored…

      • Lia

        That’s why I’m so frustrated with Dean’s interaction with Sam. If it’s truly character development, then why can’t he bring some of that to his relationship with his brother? I guess, he just assumes he knows what Sam is thinking and feeling (and Sam does the same to him btw) so he doesn’t bother asking what Sam’s problem is.

        It isn’t uncommon for people who are very close — siblings, spouses, parents/children — to not really listen to one another because of assumptions like that. They base current conversations on past ones. Whereas, with Cas, he’s an angel, something otherworldly, and Dean doesn’t pretend to really understand him — so he asks and he listens. He doesn’t give Sam the same courtesy, and Sam doesn’t give it to him. They are just too close. They have too much history, and until they truly listen to one another and ask questions and listen some more, they won’t understand where the other is coming from.

        I think they would both be surprised by and ashamed of the incorrect assumptions they’ve made of one another. They’d be equally surprised by the other’s true feelings about himself.

    • Clarissa

      The point of splitting up the main characters into their own sections was to highlight their individual storylines. That is why Castiel is not mentioned in Dean’s section, because he has his own section (where we happen to mention Dean and Purgatory). Sam’s section is more focused on Amelia because, unlike Benny and Castiel with Dean, we don’t know enough about Amelia to really give her her own section (although we do bring her up again in the section about new characters.

      The purpose of Dean’s section is to focus on Dean. That’s why Cas has his own section. It’s not a commentary on Castiel’s position in the overall storyline or his importance to Dean. Considering the fact that most of us explicitly state that we enjoy Cas and the new importance he has to the storyline, we’re not pretending like he’s not important. As far as I’m concerned, he’s important enough to warrant his own section and doesn’t need to be mentioned in Dean’s because he’s his own character, not just Dean’s friend.

      • Carl

        I think some might have been confused because Cas was sort of lumped into a page with the others. I’m glad he wasn’t just included as a part of Dean’s story, since his story is also about the tablets. I think it’s just that he was such a big part of the Purgatory story – a far bigger part than I’d ever imagined, even in spite of small airtime – people might be responding to that absence. But I agree with most of what your article said about Cas, especially since you cleared up the part about the mental institution.

        • Clarissa

          I’ll admit that we did have more to say about Sam and Dean (which is why they got their own pages – solely because of the amount of text). The purpose wasn’t to maginalize Castiel. As for Cas being part of the Purgatory storyline – I think that he is. But, honestly, I don’t think Dean’s devotion to him in Purgatory is something new. Given how devoted Dean is to his friends, I would have expected nothing less than his refusal to leave there without Cas. So we wanted to focus more on the newer aspects of Dean’s storyline in season 8 (his renewed sense in hunting, etc) and his more individual aspects. But, again, it’s not a slight against Cas.

          • Carl

            After parts of seasons 6 and 7, where Dean struggled to forgive Cas and where he had little patience with Cas unless Cas was there to help him stop the Leviathans (complete with “nobody cares that you’re broken”), I was genuinely surprised that Dean spent a year in Purgatory for Cas, was willing to risk his own death for Cas, and then had a breakdown because Cas chose to stay behind. While this certainly fit MY idea of the Dean/Cas relationship, it was not what I had expected from the recent years of Supernatural.

            However, I realize that was not a part of the overall theme of the season, so I can see why you didn’t focus too much on it. I think this season has been very fragmented – you have Dean/Castiel, Dean/Benny/Sam, Sam/Amelia, sometimes the tablets. While I prefer imbalance to one unified theme that sucks (last season), I think this created a “which of these doesn’t belong” situation, where you basically go from huge emotional material for Dean and those he cares about to…Amelia sitting in her living room, drunk. Maybe in the second half of the season they will give more of a reason to care about Amelia or her relationship with Sam.

          • Clarissa

            Carl – I agree with your last point! I also hope that we’ll get more regarding Sam and Amelia’s relationship. At the same time, I do hope that what we get fits more with our vision of Supernatural. I’d like to think that the whole “love triangle” spoiler was really about what happened in “Citizen Fang” only, because I’m not too eager to see a soapy love triangle play out on SPN.

            Admittedly, we have laid out what we didn’t like until this point, but I’m willing to give the writers a little bit longer to see what changes before I decide whether I’m over this particular storyline or not. As Laura mentioned, I wonder if the writers are failing to show us certain things on purpose.

          • Carl

            I agree with you, logically, about being patient. Emotionally, there are certain things, like Dean wars and Sam wars, which I think have been burnt out over the years and I feel like Carver should have anticipated this a little and shaped his story or at least his press interviews around some of this fan uneasiness. I think there were some good steps that could have been taken to make fans invest more in Sam/Amelia and in Sam’s year without Dean. But since that’s done, I’ll just hope things pick up.

          • Lia

            Yes, I don’t know what the reason is for withholding the information on Sam’s early months without Dean, but it better be good because it has been rich fodder for the Sam haters. I don’t think that Carver handled the press well on this subject either. I have no patience with fans who hold either brother up as more or less at fault. It isn’t a competition.

  • Ina

    @lia, please. Sam chose Ruby over Dean. It’s better to choose no plan than a bad plan when the plan is as bad as Ruby’s is. The only reason Sam chose Ruby is because Ruby and Ruby’s plan were ALL.About.Sam and Sam likes it when everything is all about himself.

    Remember how he was after Mystery Spot? That’s not an excuse. Sam’s inability to handle any sort of genuine problem or difficulty without completely falling to pieces and abandoning everything he knows, or should know, is right and good is a huge problem. It’s not an excuse for his bad choices, especially not when he keeps making them based on the same exact thing, which is to say his own ego and seeing himself as a victim. Sam has this huge victim complex, where somehow stuff always happens to him and he has no responsibility for it. He uses anything that happens as some sort of excuse to indulge his worst traits, whether it’s self-centeredness and pride or his tendency to run away.

    As for Sam feeling like a freak and a failure. Funny so does Dean(when the Shapeshifter was reading Dean’s thoughts and repeating them he said “I know I’m a freak and sooner or later everyone is going to leave me”, and that was just the first in a long of things showing that Dean always felt exactly that way about himself and it didn’t help that first his father and then his brother essentially treated him as an instrument for their own use and if he didn’t do what they wanted, they’d be gone. John would use the “if you don’t do what I say and anything bad happens, everyone you love will die” idea and Sam even this season uses the “If you don’t think how I want you to think and say what I want you to say, I’ll leave”).

    As well you know what if Dean is supposed to somehow just “get over” all the times Sam has betrayed him in the past and isn’t supposed to hold Sam responsible for any of his massive screw ups, then you know what? That means Sam, and his fans, need to start practicing what they preach and stop holding Dean responsible for Amy. Sam doesn’t get to keep holding onto his incredibly petty grudges(and this is really petty considering the Kitsune female(she was NEVER human, unlike Benny) was in the middle of a killing spree and at least one more person died AFTER Sam found her) but meanwhile Dean is supposed to let all the really terrible stuff Sam has said and done to him over the years slide.

    No being Soulless wasn’t Sam’s fault but it sure as heck caused Dean a heck of a lot of pain and heartache and Dean had himself “killed” in order to try and find a way to get Sam’s soul out of the cage. It’s obvious to me the reason Possessed!Dean brought this up is because despite everyone telling Dean first, that Sam was just fine, even though Dean could tell there was definitely something wrong and then that there was no way Sam’s soul could be retrieved, Dean still did everything he could to get it. Meanwhile Sam Dean disappeared and Sam couldn’t even be bothered to try and figure out what had happened to him, never mind trying to rescue him. If Sam had found out and figured it wouldn’t be possible or simply hadn’t found a “safe” way to get Dean out, Dean no doubt would have understood. It’s that Sam didn’t even LOOK.

    Sam needs to grow the heck up and start taking responsibility for his own actions and people need to stop finding excuses and letting him off the hook for all his OWN choices and the big mistakes he makes because of them. Dean doesn’t even get let off the hook for OTHER people’s mistakes, never mind his own.

    Sam screwed up massively and it was out of nothing but petty selfish jealousy. It’s not up to Dean to choose Sam to make Sam feel better about himself when Sam is acting like a jerk and making a big mistake. Dean didn’t choose Benny over Sam, Dean chose doing the right thing over doing the wrong thing, simply to prop up Sam’s overly sensitive ego.

    How about thinking about how it feels to know your brother and hunting partner who is supposed to have your back, will allow ANOTHER hunter to knock you out and apparently has no trouble with helping to shackle you in a motel room? Seriously poor little Wounded Baby Bird Sammy’s feelings of worry for a few hours vs. murdering an innocent man(and yes vampire or no, Benny was innocent)? You realize that means Dean expected Sam to betray him and Sam did exactly that? That says NOTHING good about Sam. It shows that Sam is petty and spiteful and Dean hoped he wouldn’t be, but prepared himself for Sam to be and that’s exactly what Sam was.

    As for Martin – Sam is the one who abandoned Martin and Martin himself is the one who refused to believe facts. Dean told Martin the guilty vampire was dead. Dean played NO role in Martin’s death. The hunt was over and Martin refused to believe it and chose to involve an innocent civilian, threatening her life. Once Martin did that? He was fair game – Martin became the monster and Martin had to die. Sad but hey Martin wouldn’t even have been involved if Sam hadn’t been on his petty question to try and prove Dean wrong. Which is really sad. Whatever has happened between them Dean has never every been about just trying to “I’ll show Sam up, I’ll show him I’m right NO MATTER WHAT!”. Dean let Ruby live for two years, all based on Sam’s vouching her for, even after knowing she straight out lied to for the whole first year she was around. Dean killed Amy because Amy was killing people. It’s not like she’d stopped 4 years ago and gone straight, she had just killed 5 people within a few weeks with the last one people AFTER Sam found her. There is no reason Amy deserved to live under those circumstances. She was killing people, she was behaving exactly like a serial killer does.

    • Lia

      You do realize that you sound like a Dean apologist in the same way that you accuse Sam fans of. I don’t happen to think that either is guiltless. See I happen to like both boys. They are both fallible and guilty and heroic and horribly self-loathing.

      • Sally

        Agreed and while I see comments about how Sam has hurt Dean wether it be this season and envitabley the series it is the idea that Dean is incapable of hurting Sam that somehow his actions are less. While the radiator scene was not nice and that was basically

        • Sally

          Sorry my internet went odd there what I was saying although the radiator scene was not nice for me the Amelia fake message was worst it played on a great fear of Sam’s .He has lost too many people he has loved in the past and some right before his eyes recently Dean which will play into his mind .

          Both boys can hurt it each other Dean isnt immune from hurtful, ill thoughtout actions.

        • Lia

          Yeah, the radiator scene wasn’t nice, but Sam didn’t “allow” Martin to hit Dean. He was surprised and angered by it. That’s the kind of twisting that Sam haters do though. For some reason, there’s this idea amongst some fans that Sam doesn’t love Dean as much as Dean loves Sam, and as you say that Dean can’t and hasn’t hurt Sam just as much, which is patently untrue.

          • mobanon

            Lia, I agree with everything you said to fans who insist on seeing everything Sam does and say in the worst possible light. Well said. You know how to make your point without insulting Dean.

  • Lia

    Everyone probably wishes I would just shut up, but I have to say that I agree completely with Vinnie regarding Sam and Amelia’s relationship. I don’t think it is healthy. It is desperate and contrived. It isn’t some epic romance. They are like a couple drowning people clinging to the same piece of wreckage — and a bottle of tequila probably. And I’m glad he brought up the fact that Sam was putting her in danger. I’m one of those people who thinks that Sam had come to terms with the fact that he is a hunter and couldn’t have normal even if it is something he still wants. He saw what happened with Dean and Lisa and Ben. The Winchesters have a lot of enemies, especially Sam — there are probably still other hunters after him — and bad things will always find them like djinn did Dean. Furthermore, Sam isn’t the idealistic teenager who went off to Stanford. He’s older, wiser, more cynical. He’s a hunter and he knows it, but he felt like his world imploded and he ran. I agree with Vinnie that if Sam hadn’t run into Amelia, he would have run off the rails like he did in Mystery Spot.

    • soberdriver

      “Everyone probably wishes I would just shut up, but I have to say that I agree completely with Vinnie regarding Sam and Amelia’s relationship. I don’t think it is healthy. It is desperate and contrived. It isn’t some epic romance. They are like a couple drowning people clinging to the same piece of wreckage — and a bottle of tequila probably.”

      This pretty much describes Sam and Dean’s relationship. It’s dysfunctional and I have no idea why they’re together, no matter WHO you think is more responsible for making a hash of it. They’re canonically brothers so not interested in hearing about how it’s some erotically codependent yada yada. It’s not good for either of them and since you find Dean to be the ultimate in suckitude, then I don’t get why Sam & Amelia is any worse than Sam and Dean.

      • Lia

        First, I don’t know where you got the idea that I think Dean is the “ultimate in suckitude” since I’ve never said anything like that. I’ve said over and over that both boys are responsible for where they are right now. Unlike a lot of fans, I don’t think that one brother has to be the villain in this situation. I left that kind of thinking behind in grammar school.

        Sam and Amelia’s relationship has only a superficial resemblance to Sam and Dean’s because Sam and Dean do have an epic Love. These are two people who faced eternal torment in Hell to save the other. Theirs is a Love that saved the world. That was the lesson of the first five seasons. They also happen to be, not surprisingly, really screwed up in individuals who both bring a lot of baggage to any relationship, and that baggage will inevitably screw up any relationship they are in until they learn to deal with it. We’ve seen how Dean’s issues have screwed up his relationship with Castiel in the past. The fact that Sam and Dean have such trouble with each other is because they have such history together and, as we’re seeing this season, they don’t communicate well. Poor communication isn’t a reason to give up on each other. In the end, no one else can or ever will understand what they’ve been through — the horror and the grief and the fear, all of it — as well they can. No one will ever love them as much as they love each other. That is worth fighting for. That is worth learning to communicate for — to truly listen to each other and try to understand what the other is really saying. Yes, they can have other friends, other loves even, but to lose each other would be tragic. If that happened the entire series would be a monumental failure.

      • mobanon

        Since you, soberdriver, thinks Sam is the ultimate in suckitude, who are you to talk? I’m quite happy for Sam to find happiness with Amelia.

  • Fazzie

    ““I’m not sure where Sam’s anger is coming from,” Tina admitted. “While I understand him being upset whenever Dean tells him Benny’s been more of a brother than he’s ever been, Sam has always given a vampire (or other supernatural creatures) the benefit of the doubt. He did with Lenore. He did with the werewolf girl from ‘Bitten’. Benny enabled Dean to get out of Purgatory. Was Dean just supposed to kill him right after? I don’t think so. I need to find out where Sam’s anger is coming from regarding Benny.”
    Dean’s outburst in “Southern Comfort” was not a mere coincidence, I think. Sure, he was bringing up issues like Ruby that are years old in the Supernatural universe, but the truth is that the brothers have “had such differing worldviews and motivations since the very beginning of the series, and they’ve lied to, manipulated, hurt and betrayed each other many times over the years, whether under the influence of something supernatural or simply under the pretense of “protecting” each other,” ”

    See that is what is getting to me about Sam this season, yes I agree that Dean is being somewhat passive agressive, but at least his trust issues with his brother seemed to be solely being directed at his brother. Sam on the other hand seems not only to be angry at Dean but seems to be taking it out on Benny as well and it has now resulted in the events of the last episode.

    It seems a bit of a disconnect from this idea that we are going to get a pair of maturer boys as Sam right now as far as I have seen is degenerating into anything but.

    I’m only hoping that with the angel storyline aside the next episode is going to be Sam heavy as I agree him and Amelia don’t really have legs apart from eventually showing that Sam’s year of normality wasn’t as rosy as he was remembering it and he need to see that to again reset what is going on with him.

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