Okay, so I’d only just got back from an epic adventure in Texas and I was kind of depressed about the holiday ending and I was kind of tired after 20 some hours of travel… but that was really emotional, right? I mean, I had a pained, weepy, frowny face for most of it…and I don’t think it was jetlag!
Man, it’s good to have the show back. Even when it hurts. Which is always. And season 9 certainly kicked off with a bang and in my case a wibble!
The whole grounded angel thing. The whole who’s going to be an ally, who’s going to be an enemy. The whole Cass learning about his human shortcomings. It was such a great set up and a very exciting start to the new season. We even got to visit a bit with Bobby. Nawwwwwww.
And then of course, delivering another big emotional punch to our guts, Sam and Dean, with a new nightmare befalling them...and us.
Once again we faced the horror of one of the brothers losing the other, with a morally dubious, but understandable solution reached. All the greys. This show is all the greys! The anxiety and angst this is going to cause us in the coming weeks. I’ve been pondering it solidly for days!
Yes, we’ve been down this road before and that got me to thinking... How can it ever been any other way? These brothers will continually be put in peril, it comes with the turf and if put in peril, chances are one is probably going to end up near death, or to quote one of my favourite movies, mostly dead and the other will always make the same choice, to try and save his brother how ever he can. It’s swings and roundabouts, again and again. The same problem. The same choice. The same problem. On and on. Over and over. It’s not so much already covered ground as the ground the brothers will always cover. Because there is no other option for them. It’s become a common theme throughout the series and each time we see it, it has new twist, a new pain, for them and us.
One brother can’t live without the other – at least not very successfully – and judge me if you will, but I totally love that about them! It’s why I watch the show. It’s for their all-consuming love (and chronic co-dependence!) Geesh, that last part makes me sound awful, but I take solace in knowing that I’m not alone…right? RIGHT???!
So once again, we find ourselves looking down the barrel of a dicey situation where either answer is going cause grief. Being a hero totally blows!
Let’s get straight down to the nitty gritty shall we? Dean’s decision...
I mean, obviously Sam has to be fixed somehow, there’s no Dean without Sam, there’s no “Supernatural” with out Sam & Dean. So Sammy had to come back to the land of the living and that meant Dean had to make another choice…and because we know how this show rolls, we know how that’s going to go! Our poor babies…
In season 8, Sam got a new lease on hope. He’d got a taste of what life might have the opportunity to offer him one day. He saw that there might be a light after hunting. This light was so strong for him that he vowed to take Dean along with him and lead him to it.
Even as Sam got more physically and emotionally damaged, there was still that glimmer of hope shining out of him, because he started to believe he was being purified and that something wonderful waited for him beyond the pain and exhaustion of the trials.
It was only in the final throws, when he was beaten down, sick and weary after eight hours of injecting his own blood into Crowley and fighting to get the spell done, that he started to give up on the thought of living. When he was broken by looking deep within to confess to what ached in his heart the most - how he believed he let Dean down and how he believed Dean perceived him. It was only in those dark, final moments, tired and sad and desperate that he thought to give up. But not to give up for nothing, to give up to get the job done, to sacrifice himself and put an end to so much suffering in the world.
Sam’s hope had touched Dean and Dean, as always, fought to ensure that Sam lived. He stopped Sam from giving in and giving it all up to close the gates of hell. He helped Sam see beyond the pain, sadness and exhaustion to life and love and a reason to keep going. Sam asked how to stop it. Dean told him to let go. So Sam let go…
So what changed? Where’d that light at the end of the tunnel go that Sam so eloquently spoke of in “Trial and Error”.
When people are desperately sick and worn down by the struggle for life, they sometimes want to give up and have done with it. But when push comes to shove, so often they continue to battle on regardless, because that’s the human spirit, that’s the fight for survival, that’s what’s in our evolutionary make-up. I’ve seen this personally. I’ve heard the words, I don’t want to go on and then I’ve seen the fight lift up again and again because the alternative was not what was really wanted – it just seemed like an escape from the pain of the present moment…
So I was left wondering…did Sam truly want to die, was he truly done, or was he just so sick and tired he could no longer muster the resistance to death - kind of like when he was sleep deprived - or lift, what has always been his ever-present hope, out of the gutter and look once more for that light.
I heard his words, if he was going to go, this had to be the last time, there could be no more resurrection, no more ongoing consequence to his life being pulled back to this world, no more suffering for anyone caught in that jet-stream. But I couldn’t help but wonder, was this Sam saying I’m ready or was it Sam ensuring that if he did die, nothing weird would happen that would reverse his death, because we all know how that goes. Was he making sure that Dean couldn’t do anything that would harm himself – like say, sell his soul – in order to bring Sam back? Was he really giving into Death forever, or protecting those he would leave behind with a guarantee.
You see, I’m struggling to understand why Sam, of all people, Sam who always fights, Sam who always tries to show his brother that whatever the case, life is worth living, Sam who would rather face the horrors of his time in hell rather than leave his brother alone in the world, would suddenly say, I’m done, enough, I’m going to have a cold one with Bobby, no matter how tired he was from his life of eternal toil. Especially after all the, I see the light at the end of the tunnel, a life beyond hunting talk from last season.
Did Sam really want to die? Or was he just too tired to fight?
Dean was almost going to let him go too, not because he thought Sam was ready, but because he believed Sam wouldn’t want the alternative on offer. But mostly, I don’t think Dean believed for one single second that his brother wouldn’t find a way to fight back, wouldn’t find a way to pull himself from the brink, until he saw what Sam was actually thinking.
Then that old panic set in.
Here’s the thing, if I had the chance to stuff an angel inside my dad and fix him from the inside out, even without him knowing, I would have done it in a heartbeat. So, there is no way I can’t give Dean all the understanding in the world. We all take our own baggage with us as we travel the “Supernatural” road.
But beyond that, why are any of us surprised? Dean will always throw himself under a bus to save Sam. It’s the ultimate representation of his Deanness. He will always try to protect Sam. He’s said it over and over; it’s who he is. For better or worse, no matter how much he tries to let go, there are certain things he is incapable of letting go of and Sammy is his number one certain thing. He was going to die alongside Sam in “Croatoan”. He sold his soul to resurrect Sam. He stood his ground and got beaten to a pulp by Lucifer so that Sam wouldn’t die alone. He knows, from past experience, that his brother will more than likely not understand, or will be furious with him, or may even walk away – again – but he did it anyway, because he’s Dean and that’s who he is. And we know it.
Sure, some people may say, typical selfish Dean act, not respecting his brother’s wishes. But was it really selfish, or selfless? Because Dean knows the probable outcome will not go well for him, but that doesn’t matter, he doesn’t matter, because Sam will have another chance to live…
Like us, Dean heard Sam’s hope-filled words. Dean wanted to do the trials to ensure that his brother got the chance to possibly live the life he had always dreamed of. Yes, Dean can’t stand the thought of a life without Sam and of course part of his motivation was that over-powering love for his brother, but surely that love can also be seen as his way of ensuring that Sam’s life didn’t end in the sorrow of the trials, that Sam might have the chance to have that much dreamed of happiness, or at least still have the chance to hope for it? I want Sam to have that chance again and if I do, you can be sure Dean does.
Sam stopped short of finishing the trials so that he could live; not die. He looked at Dean, heard his words and chose to live. So…then he goes and dies anyway? What a waste that would have been. He might as well have locked the gates of hell then, if he was going to die anyway. What would have been the purpose of any of that pain and suffering? What would have been the damn point to it all.
What Dean chose to do, he chose out of desperation – from an exhausted and broken place himself. You could see he didn’t want to go that path, until he saw that Sam was actually thinking about moving on.
I was incredibly moved by the fact that the part of Sam’s mind that wanted to fight, was seen to him as Dean. I thought that spoke volumes about who he believes his brother to be, his protector, the one that will always fight for him and how he sees that similarity with his brother inside himself. I’ve always seen the Winchester brothers as two parts of the same whole and for me, that’s what Sam’s brain was seeing too.
Dean eyes were full of tears when Ezekiel said that they couldn’t tell Sam, because Sam may eject Ezekiel and die. That wasn’t a lie Dean wanted to perpetrate against his brother. Until Ezekiel said that, Dean was all for being honest with Sam. And the memory wipe – of that day in hospital and I assume, those thoughts of death inside Sam’s melon - was also something that you could see ate Dean up. His beautiful face had every conflicted emotion written across it. Ugh! The agony of it all!
Death said to Dean, (I’m going with it was Dean and Dean’s words and Ezekiel just jumped in there at the last moment, because I’m sure Death can tell an angel when he sees one), it’s Sam choice and Sam looked to Dean and said, “What do I do?” Yes, he didn’t have all the facts...but he handed the reigns of his largest life or death decision to his big brother – just like he did in the church in “Sacrifice” when he asked how to make it stop.
When Sam didn’t think Dean had a plan, he saw no other option than to move on, but when Dean said he had a plan, Sam was willing to stop and listen and then – without even asking what it was – put his faith in Dean and give it another shot. He didn’t even ask Dean how. He just said, yes.
These brothers pull each other back from the edge over and over, not just literally – as in back from death – but out of the pit of despair. Their driving force is to fight and when one wants to throw in the towel, the other picks him up and shakes him by the scruff of his neck. Mostly over the years, it’s been Sam shaking Dean. Now Dean, in his round about way, shook Sam.
A desperate man in a desperate situation. A desperate act from a place of love.
Oh gosh I adore these guys and their epic flaws.
My one great and stupid hope is that this time around, maybe Sam might understand Dean and his motivation. Maybe his understanding of who his brother is and how far they have come together, will allow him an understanding of the situation. Maybe he’ll be thankful for a second chance at hope and a second shot at the life he’s long dreamed of. But I know he probably won’t. This is “Supernatural” after all and there are no happy endings. Sam will most likely be mad. Feel betrayed. The whole thing will explode in Dean’s face and it will tear at their hearts and souls and my heart and soul and it will rip at the very core of what makes them awesome, being brothers. Most likely...
But wouldn’t it be nice if we were all surprised. Wouldn’t it be nice if Sam said, “You know, Dean…I don’t agree with how you went about it and you shouldn’t have lied to me because you know I hate that, but I get it because it’s who you are and you’re my brother and I love you (boop) and thanks for giving me another shot at life. I’m glad to be here.”
Excuse me while I laugh out loud at myself!
Of course, that’s absolutely not how it’s going to go! But I can’t simply believe that Sam would or more to the point should after all these years, only be mad at his brother. Man, I would love it if he were actually kind of glad that he’s not dead! If he could see that maybe the means justified the end.
This is not a judgement on Sam by the way; because I believe Sam has that understanding in him…I’m just not sure the writers always see him the same way as me! Ha!
But maybe, just maybe, I’ll be surprised…
I really don’t want any more lies. I don’t want either of the brothers to feel that kind of hurt again. Is that too much to ask? Yeah, probably…
Don't get me wrong though...I love this whole thing! What on earth is wrong with me!
And I know some of you may see all this as typical sweetondean, making a case for Dean Winchester, (because I do loves him so), but it’s not just about that. It’s not just about defending my man! I’m pretty sure we all know and to some extent understand, why Dean went this road. I’m just saying how I read it and how it impacted upon me. Like an angsty knife to my Winchester brother loving heart! Oh the ecstacy of the agony!
So was I shocked? I kind of was and I kind of wasn’t. Was I sad? I kind of was and I kind of wasn’t – leaning more towards wasn’t because I want Sam alive and kicking, thanks very much! Was I angry? No, I can’t be. Did I get it? Yup, totally. Am I cool with it? Um – yep. Like I said, a living Sam is a good thing and you’ve got to admit it’s as fascinating all hell. Do I think it’s going to end up being a bummer? Err yep; I’ve watched this show for 8 years! Do I find it intriguing? Hellz yes. I’m totally onboard to see where this goes! Do I wish there wasn’t an angel all up inside Sam? Sure. But then the alternative is no alternative is it?
What I really see here is a show that at the end of its eighth year knocked me on my ass with the angels falling surprise and now at the beginning of its ninth year, knocked me on my ass again, because I saw Dean making some kind of deal, but I sure didn’t see this. The fact that this show continues to side swipe us after so many years is pretty damn amazing.
There was so much to love in this season opener – even through the hurt. I loved that we revisited the, “We got work to do” line. One of the things I enjoyed the most about season 8 was the nods to the past. The fact that the season 9 opener had this classic line made me one happy fan.
Oh and…the title…”I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here”, it has a dubious ring right? Is it the angels that have fallen who are gonna like it here? Or is it Ezekiel, liking it inside Sam. Only time will tell if this “good soldier” is to be trusted or not. I kind of what him back in his own vessel because his vessel was kinda hot! Oh and also to get him out of Sam…of course!
So here we go people. A rockin' start! Now strap yourselves in, remain seated and keep your arms inside the carriage at all times. Supernatural is back and it looks like another awesome ride!
Thanks for reading.