You know what the worst thing in the world would be? If every single person told the truth. I don’t know about you guys, but I lie on a daily basis. To everyone. Primarily to my mother, but it’s mostly to protect her from things she can’t handle. So it’s not surprising that Supernatural would consider the fact that people telling the truth would actually cause death and destruction. This week, the case takes place in Illinois, where a waitress is having a bizarre day at work, with people spilling secrets and otherwise hidden truths all over the place. So, naturally, she takes out a gun and kills herself after being told how worthless she is. Oh, and it takes place at a Biggersons. Nice continuity.
Dean’s filling Bobby in on the situation from the last episode, but Bobby is stumped as to what’s wrong with Sam. Dean reveals that he’s called Cas, but he’s not answering, so Bobby agrees to do some research and tells Dean to hold off on putting a bullet through Sam’s head until they can figure out what’s going on.
The boys head out to investigate the four recent suicides (the waitress among them), and speaks to the waitress’sister. Sam quickly realizes the sister is lying about her part in the situation and calls her on it. Way to be subtle, Sammy. She cracks under Sam’s accusing glare, and she admits she told her sister to kill herself.
Outside, the boys admit they haven’t found anything suspicious (including hex bags) in the house. Later, at a dentist’s office, a man starts admitting his hidden feelings about his wife and the dentist’s daughter. Oh, gross, he molested the daughter. So the dentist attacks him by shoving the drill in his mouth and…
Bobby and Dean confer again over the phone, while Bobby admits he can’t figure out what’s wrong. Dean gives Bobby another day before he’s ‘handling this’. By the way, Dean’s version of ‘handling things’also includes drinking copious amounts of alcohol, calling Lisa and then hanging up. It’s nice to see his coping mechanisms haven’t really changed. Sam returns to the motel to tell him about the dentist. Dean sends Sam off to question the witnesses, while he stays behind to do research.
A Moment of Misdirection
Sam calls Dean to relay the information about the case and announce that the dentist killed himself in his cell. He also sends Dean off to investigate the dentist’s office. Dean does some B&E at the office where he finds a connection between the victims – Harry’s House of Horns. So he heads to Harry’s to question him, and Harry reveals one of his special horns had been stolen.
Additional research leads Dean to ‘Gabriel’s Horn of Truth’and he calls Cas again. He’s seriously pissed when Cas answers his call about the horn and lays into him for not responding to his pleas about Sam. Cas concludes that Sam is not Lucifer and that Lucifer is not free, but he doesn’t know what’s wrong with Sam. He disappears for a minute to confirm that Gabriel’s horn isn’t causing the problems in town and then promises Dean he’ll make inquiries into Sam’s strange behavior.
At the morgue, Sam asks to see the bodies of all the suicide victims. But the ME reveals the other bodies are gone. Sam calls Dean to tell him the bodies have vanished, but he’s got a lead on a woman who was the first victim. Dean promises to help, but decides to continue drinking in the bar he’s in. As it turns out, the only thing you have to do to activate the curse is say ‘I want the truth’. Dean does and this causes the bartender to start baring her soul to him.
What follows is an amusing sequence where the old horn dog version of Dean resurfaces for a moment and Bobby admits over the phone that he likes watching Tori Spelling’s reality show and getting pedicures. Then, hilariously, Bobby admits what we all knew to be true – that Dean is his favorite. Dean admits he’s been cursed, but thinks there’s a bright side to this.
Sam’s talking to a friend of the first victim, who says she had been going through a hard time and suspected her boyfriend had been cheating on her. All she had wanted was to learn the truth.
Definitely Exiled from Main Street
Lisa finally calls Dean back. He asks if they can do it another time, but Lisa is extremely upset about Dean shoving Ben and wants to talk now. She tells him he has so much buried within him and he never deals with it. She also says she knew when Sam returned that they were over. Because Sam and Dean have the craziest relationship ever and, according to her, as long as Sam is in Dean’s life he’ll never be happy. Which I think is actually grossly unfair, but we’ll get to that later. She apologizes for being harsh, then says they’re done. Dean gets mopey. But he does not cry the One Perfect Tear of Dean Winchester’s Emo Man Pain (trademark pending).
Dean joins Sam at the victim’s house and confronts Sam, saying he wants the truth. He asks why Sam stood by while the vampire attacked him. Sam lies – poorly – and says he froze. He wants Dean to believe him and Dean, thinking Sam can’t lie, apologizes.
Back at the motel, Sam shows Dean the spell he thinks the first victim used (based on the ingredients he found in her bedroom). The first victim summoned Veritas, the goddess of Truth. Sam says they need to figure out how to get rid of her before she causes Dean to kill himself too. Dean assumes Veritas is disguising herself as Ashley, the local TV reporter, so the boys settle in to watch hours upon hours of footage of her. Sam finally sees a dog barking harshly at Ashley (dogs not liking Veritas, who was a cat person). Sam is also wearing a t-shirt and I can see his biceps, so a lot of stuff could have happened beyond the obvious in this scene, but I was too distracted to pay attention. How’s that for the truth?
The boys head to Ashley’s house, which is gorgeous, by the way. They dip knives in dog blood and head in. Inside, the find the mutilated bodies of some of the victims. Veritas, now dressed in more typical Grecian garb, knocks the brothers out.
The Cold, Hard Truth
When they awaken, they discover they’ve been tied up (oh boys, how many times does that have to happen before you start planning ahead?). As Veritas pulls out the dentist’s tongue to eat, Sam quietly tries to cut through his ropes with his hidden knife. She confronts the brothers about being very good liars. She tells Dean to tell the truth and asks how he feels about Sam. Dean admits that he wanted to kill Sam in his sleep, but feels better about him now. He says that he was kidding himself thinking he could have a family and leave hunting, that he’s really just a killer. Now he wonders if Sam is just like him.
She moves onto Sam, asking how he feels about reuniting with Dean. He says that their lives are hard, but they look out for each other and that’s what’s important. Veritas is shocked to discover that Sam is lying and has no idea how he can lie to her. She asks Dean ‘what is he?’and Dean is just as confused when she says Sam isn’t human. Sam finally cuts through his ropes and attacks Veritas. Dean gets free a moment later and goes after her. Both boys manage to stab and kill her and the Dean turns his knife on Sam.
Sam insists that he’s Dean’s brother. When Dean demands answers, Sam admits he let Dean get turned because he knew there was a cure and believed Dean could take care of himself. He also flat out admits that since he’s returned from Hell there’s been something very wrong with him – he can’t feel anything. But he doesn’t know what’s wrong with him and he needs help. Dean puts down his knife and then attacks Sam, wailing on his face right up until the end credits.
My fellow editor, Jon, and I have been discussing Sam’s lack of a soul for a little while now. He’s upset by this turn of events, because he doesn’t really subscribe to what I like to call the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theory of a Soul’s Worth’. Jon’s belief is that the soul and the self -or personality – are one and that one cannot exist without the other. Put more clearly, he doesn’t like what’s happening with Sam because, in his view, Sam could not exist (walking around, having his memories, being alive) without his soul. I don’t necessarily disagree, but then I also pointed out that this was a television show (about the supernatural, for crying out loud), and he grumbled but said he would get over his anger shortly.
In some respects it is strange that Sam can exist without his soul, and that he can acknowledge that something is very wrong with him. On the other hand, it’s an interesting twist on the story (even though I’m sure most of it figured it out), because the question remains whether they can retrieve Sam’s soul and make him whole again.
On a side note, I want to address what Lisa said about Sam and Dean’s relationship. A lot of people on the show says that the brothers’relationship is unhealthy. I don’t agree. I think that the way the brothers love each other is probably the most pure expression of love you can have. It’s what they do with that love that makes their relationship slightly unhealthy – sacrificing themselves for each other, for example. And yet, can you really say that being willing to die for someone is unhealthy? Isn’t giving your life to save someone you love one of the most loving acts you can commit? Call me fatalistic and morbid, but I believe it is.
Yes, the brothers are very dependent on each other, but that’s a product of their upbringing. They spent most of their lives being taught by John that family was the most important thing. They grew up in close quarters with few to no friends and with each other as their constant company. How could that not make them dependent on each other (especially for Dean, who believed the ‘family above all’mantra even more than Sam)? Dean derives his worth from his ability to love and protect those he cares about. From being needed. Sam is much more independent, but you can’t deny that he loves his brother (well, when he has a soul). So for Lisa to suggest that Dean can never be happy around Sam would suggest that their love could never heal the ever-growing rift between them. Yes, they’ve lied to each other and done horrible things to each other throughout the course of the series. But in the season 5 finale, Dean vowed to stay with Sam to the bitter end, and it was their love for each other that allowed Sam to bury Lucifer in order to jump into Hell. I believe there’s a way to heal their relationship, even if they don’t forget the things that have happened to them over the years. That’s the ultimate goal I want to see happen this season after so many years of the widening gulf between them.
Overall, I was satisfied with this episode. We got several moments of humor and, while most of us probably suspected what was wrong with Sam, the storyline progressed to the point where he readily admitted he has a problem and asked for help. The question is how Dean will proceed.