Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Sam Question

Last week, MJ asked the question of season six, namely what's up with the Campbells?

A tie-in question, and one perhaps far more important, is what's up with Sam?

After two episodes, I have to admit, I'm not sure. In the first episode, he was—as we said over and over LOL—cold and smug and dismissive and not at all like our Sammy.

In the second episode, he was more on his own, and less weird. He and Dean interacted a little more normally. In fact, when faced with something he couldn't handle, he automatically looked up to his big brother for help. And Dean, of course, leaped right in (okay, after some resistance).

But then they went back to the Campbells, and Sam seemed all too willing to defer to them. In a slightly less creepy way, but...

Why would Sam join them instead of hunting on his own?
I can actually think of some reasons for this. On the one hand, he was on his own for six months when the Trickster made him think Dean was dead, and again when Dean was in Hell, and you'd think he'd prefer it that way. On the other hand, all his other hunting experience—a lifetime of it—has been with someone else. Dad, and Dean, and Ruby. He may hate being alone now, especially after he decided to leave Dean alone, and welcomed companionship, people who are "like him." And supposed family to boot. He was trying to fill the void.

Why would the Campbells want Sam along?
So maybe we can buy why Sam wants to be with the Campbells, but why would they want him? Those people who claim to be cousins are too young to have known Samuel/Grandpa before YED killed him. If they'd been raised in the life, why would they suddenly follow him? Hunters are loners for the most part, that's well established. Whoops, I'm delving too far back into the damned Campbells question. Back to Sam, who freed Lucifer and came back from the cage. Why wouldn't they assume he was still possessed or something and try to kill him? Why wouldn't they hate him for unleashing so much onto the world and making their jobs and lives harder?

Why did Sam reveal himself to Dean?
If Sam truly thought Dean was better off thinking him dead and staying out of the life, he could have stayed that way. He could have killed the djinn, rescued Dean, and hidden or left so Dean never knew he was there. Or he could have sent Bobby to protect Dean and Lisa and Ben, or even just the Campbells. Yeah, Dean would have found out sooner or later, but there were ways Sam could have achieved his stated ends without revealing himself to Dean.

Is it really Sam?
This is the biggest, most disturbing question. I want it to not be Sam. I mean, the smugness during the hug was too reminiscent of Lucifer. I don't want him to just be changed by his possession or his time in the cage or his new life. Change is inevitable, and I don't mind it—but I don't want him to change like this. If it's not Sam, who could it be?

If it's really Sam, what else could be going on?
My favorite theory is that he's either under the Campbells' thumb somehow, or suspicious of them and scared so that he needs his brother. His oddness would be because of that fear, and the agenda he's trying to hide. But I'm sure there are a bunch of other things that could be going on. What's your favorite theory?