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curled around these images
just enough to make us dangerous
spoilery stuff….. 
9th-Jan-2014 07:55 am
Dean facepalm
I just had a thought (as you do).

I have a feeling the Show sees what Dean did as saving Sam. Purely, just, saving Sam. Many feel (me included - now) that Sam didn't actually need saving (aside from the fact that he did so he didn't die etc etc). He was ready to die so the only reason he was brought back was because Dean couldn't live with him dead. So if this is the case they really won't feel that there is anything to address in the way Dean actually went about saving him. It's just what you do to save your family - they are the boundaries you cross and it doesn't matter because at least you've saved your brother. It's pretty simple really (and therefore solidifies the fact that the manner in which Dean saved Sam won't be addressed because it doesn't actually matter. To them).

(you all knew that already didn't you? I'm just slow it would seem.../o\)

And now for a wee rant.



There are two spoilers that are worrying me a little (and yeah, I know I should just wait for the eps to air), but…

One tag line I saw: "How far would you go to save your family?" (for 9.10 promo)

(what? allowing an angel to possess a loved one without their knowledge or consent isn't enough? There's something MORE, something FURTHER, something more WRONG that what has already happened? The suggestion is the lengths Dean will go is making a deal with Crowley. Because yeah, that's clearly going TOO DAMN FAR! OOOH, STOP THAT RIGHT NOW DEAN! You are crossing boundaries! You are GOING TOO FAR NOW! Sheesh...

and

Sam seeks penance...

What the fuck for?! That is worrying me more than ANYTHING! I mean, I get that Sam will feel guilty that his body was taken over (again) and killed someone, but surely…SURELY he can't feel that he's to blame for that? And does this mean he'll lay none of the blame on Dean (whose entire fault it actually is?) ACK! This is gonna kill me! If it's part of the characterisation (Sam being so damn broken that he can't see past this being his fault etc but he'll start to learn over the course of the season that not everything that's happened to him is his fault..), then I might find it acceptable. But if the Show think Sam is somehow to blame I think I'm gonna cry. And cry. And cry.

Dammit. I just gotsta be patient.
Comments 
9th-Jan-2014 12:08 am (UTC)
I'm mostly the world's worst eeyore and I think the things that are profoundly, viscerally squicky to me about exactly what Dean did and exactly what it implied are unlikely to be addressed, but I wouldn't worry too much about promo sentences. AFAIK, those come from the network/publicity people, not the writers or showrunner, and I don't think they should be taken as Word of God evaluations.

Dubious though I am about the reveal-scene-that-wasn't, I think the reactions they gave Gadreel!Sam at least indicate that the writers are not thinking that Dean's actions were unproblematic in their impact on Sam and Sam and Dean's relationship. I worry that it will just be "Dean did something and lied about it" fallout, whereas what they have actually given us onscreen is the lying as the means in an ongoing process of violating Sam's consent rather than the lying as the fundamental problem, but even that wouldn't mean that they were totally exonerating Dean.

And while I would like Sam to be seriously angry, and for there to be a long (in terms of years, not one or two episodes) process of regaining trust, I can actually see that a depressive rather than proactive response might be in character for Sam at this point. But I'm with you on needing progress from there -- I don't want to watch Spn as the gradual grinding down of Sam into nothing.
9th-Jan-2014 02:10 am (UTC)
Yeah. I suppose trusting the network people might not be a great idea. I thought they might have come from Carver. And maybe they are about stirring up chat.

I worry that it will just be "Dean did something and lied about it" fallout,

Yeah. That will be the drama - which is fine in that the lying IS an issue, but what he lied about was even bigger than that and I'm feeling more and more that that won't be really addressed.

I don't think Dean will be totally exonerated - even now we have Dean responding to the impact of what he's done. I'm just thinking that it will be more about what his decision led to (death go Kevin) rather than what the impact of that might be on Sam. And not whether Sam will be pissed (which I'm sure Dean is expecting) but rather those deliciously deeper issues of trust, consent, choice, control etc.

I can actually see that a depressive rather than proactive response might be in character for Sam at this point.

I can see this as a possibility (even though I want to see Sam lose his shit over this!) and if well handled it could be interesting. I'm not sure how I would respond to seeing Sam being gradually ground down. I miss badass, proactive Sam, but if we get a genuinely deeply hurt Sam I'd buy that on a certain level too. Maybe even "on the surface he's fine but it's eating away at him". Though we ended up with a completely broken Sam at the end of S8, surely they won't take him there again. Hmmmmm….. As long as it means seeing Sam actively take back control of his life at some point (without Dean having to do it for him), then I could be happy with that.

Ok. I think I might see how they could play this now (and it not be horrible).
xx
9th-Jan-2014 12:29 am (UTC)
Aughhhhh
9th-Jan-2014 02:11 am (UTC)
Yep. Potentially.
9th-Jan-2014 12:30 am (UTC)
He was ready to die so the only reason he was brought back was because Dean couldn't live with him dead.

He was "ready to die", only because he thought there was no way to save him. He asked his inner!Dean over and over again if there was a plan (so he could live). Sam wouldn't have said "yes" at the end of 9.01, if he didn't want a chance for life. He didn't know what he was agreeing to (and that's a whole other issue), but when given a hopeful scenario, Sam WANTED to live.

So if this is the case they really won't feel that there is anything to address in the way Dean actually went about saving him. It's just what you do to save your family - they are the boundaries you cross and it doesn't matter because at least you've saved your brother.

I'm sure it'll be addressed. Even though the important thing is that Sam's alive, there's big issues around how he was saved, and I can't imagine them ignoring it. I'm more afraid of them going the opposite way, and focusing on how "wrong" Dean's decision was (even though it saved Sam's life).


About Crowley... he killed Sarah, he was going to kill everyone the Winchesters ever saved, and he's done countless bad things... he gets set free and Dean owes him even more favors... the brothers never tried to get revenge on him, but instead they go after Gadreel. It really upsets me.

Sam seeking penance... I didn't see anything in the article about that? Did I miss something?
9th-Jan-2014 10:51 am (UTC)
Sam wouldn't have said "yes" at the end of 9.01, if he didn't want a chance for life

Yes, and I seem to remember arguing this very thing after 9.01. I think after these 9 episodes it looks like dying was the better option (which of course NO! but considering what's happened I'm sure Sam would be wishing that he had died). But I do agree (and I fluctuate in my opinion on this), because I don't think Sam wanted to die, he just made peace with it.

I'm more afraid of them going the opposite way, and focusing on how "wrong" Dean's decision was (even though it saved Sam's life).

I'd be surprised that they spend a huge amount of time on this because I truly think their approach is that Dean did it for the right reasons and therefore it can't be wrong. It's that tag line " How far would you go to save your family" that makes me think they don't consider what he's already done as going too far. But a lot have people have argued that I shouldn't take notice of the tag lines. :)

I wonder about Crowley because of how almost "human" he became at the end of S8. But yeah, it's a dilemma because Dean making a deal with him is another bad step. But I am actually happier with that than him not telling Sam what he did to save him (or working out that there was something going on earlier). They'll get Crowley one day. maybe even the end of this season?

The penance line was in the title only so I have NO idea what it could be referring too. Maybe they're making it up?!


9th-Jan-2014 12:37 am (UTC)
I really don't think the tag line from the marketing department outweighs how hard the show has been driving the point home for the first half of the season, but fwiw, I interpreted that line as referring to the dire measures they'll have to take to save Sam from Gadreel. On top of that, I think the clips leaned pretty hard on how brutal that process could be? Like, the visual is still these people torturing Sam into being the Sam Dean wants him to be, FOR SAM'S OWN GOOD OF COURSE....eesh. Dark, but in the way it needs to be for the storyline to happen properly.

And yeah, as painful as the idea of Sam blaming himself for the whole thing is, I think that's really realistic generally and particularly true to Sam, that it's more likely for him to think "one more way I am horrible!" than for this huge shock to his worldview (that he really, really cannot trust Dean) to sink in right away. This could actually be an opportunity to examine how Sam tends to blame himself for, you know, everything, rather than showing and arguably tacitly endorsing it.
9th-Jan-2014 11:02 am (UTC)
Like, the visual is still these people torturing Sam into being the Sam Dean wants him to be,

Oh yes, I saw that visual and the hurt!Sam fan in me is kinda squealing with delight but at the same time I'm thinking…OH NOES!!! What are you doing to my poor boy?!

This could actually be an opportunity to examine how Sam tends to blame himself for, you know, everything, rather than showing and arguably tacitly endorsing it.

Yeah. that could be interesting if handled well. Coming off the back of 8.23 Sam was really down on himself so it's an easy push to see how he'll blame himself. And maybe he just can't bring himself to think that Dean can't be trusted. He'd tell himself that Dean had the right to do what he did…or something. Maybe I'm not feeling so bad about this now….
9th-Jan-2014 12:41 am (UTC)
Like de_nugis says, I wouldn't worry too much about the exact phrasing of promo taglines - people who do the promotion are usually not involved with the show in any way.

The deal with Crowley thing is a little tiresome, it's not like they haven't made deals with him on several occasions. Still seems like a bad idea. And of course the irony is that Dean is making whatever deal it is to save Sam from the consequences of Dean's previous attempt to save Sam.

The article's emphasis on Sam seeking penance is more worrisome :/
9th-Jan-2014 12:46 am (UTC)
But there's always the happy possibility that [wishful extrapolation from 9.11 summary]Sam will be seeking 'penance' from Castiel's fist, though. Why beat one's breast when one can have it angelically fisted?/looking on the bright side
9th-Jan-2014 12:47 am (UTC)
I want to talk about this - but I want to stay spoiler-free too. So... maybe next week?
9th-Jan-2014 01:56 am (UTC)
yes yes stay spoiler free! The worse thing about spoilers is knowing what to take from them and not getting all het up about something that might not even occur.

This time next week we'll have a better idea! :
xx
9th-Jan-2014 12:48 am (UTC)
I'm pretty much spoiler free, but I don't actually think Sam was ready to die. I think he thought he had no choice, and if dying was inevitable, then he didn't want anyone (Dean) to do anything self-sacrificing to get him back. But I think the glimpse into his psyche early in that episode clearly showed that he did *not* want to die. Would he have opted to let an angel come on in to heal him if that was the only way to live? Maybe not. But I don't think we *know* that.

I also think we've seen so much of Dean's guilt already that I can't see Show totally glossing over that and somehow blaming Sam for something/anything/everything.

I hope I'm not being overly optimistic here. I have that tendency :)
9th-Jan-2014 01:53 am (UTC)
I certainly don't think Sam wanted to die. He was willing to die if that was the natural order and he didn't want to be brought back. I personally don't think he would have said yes to angel possession, even to save his own life. His one experience with angel possession was Lucifer and he knew how hard it was to grab control for even a few seconds and throw himself into The Cage. I doubt he would have been willing to risk getting an angel in need of a vessel and unwilling to vacate.

We have seen a lot of Dean's guilt, but I'm afraid he will channel all of it into Kevin's death and Gadreel's holding onto Sam. I really don't think that Sam losing his autonomy bothers Dean that much. So once Gadreel is out and Sam isn't dead, I think Dean will simply go to find revenge for Kevin and not acknowledge Sam's issues at all because "all's well that ends well" as far as Sam still being alive.
9th-Jan-2014 01:05 am (UTC)
I have a feeling the Show sees what Dean did as saving Sam. Purely, just, saving Sam.

Dean surely saw it that way -- he wouldn't have done it otherwise. ;)

what? allowing an angel to possess a loved one without their knowledge or consent isn't enough? There's something MORE, something FURTHER, something more WRONG that what has already happened? The suggestion is the lengths Dean will go is making a deal with Crowley. Because yeah, that's clearly going TOO DAMN FAR! OOOH, STOP THAT RIGHT NOW DEAN! You are crossing boundaries! You are GOING TOO FAR NOW! Sheesh...

Oh, you. :D Because the guys have never, EVER made deals with demons before. And in a similar vein, regarding the "Sam seeks penance" line, all I can say is place no trust in the CW promo department -- geez, do those idjits even WATCH the show?

From the article: "Sam will be free of Gadreel in short order."

No problem there -- I want SAM back, darn it. The downside (one of a good half-dozen) of Sam getting loose from his "dark passenger" and being made aware of the situation is that he will find out about Kevin. And Sam being Sam, well, despite being possessed at the time, he WILL blame himself for Kevin's death, oh, he will. But he's a Winchester, and self-blame is just what they do. So, if this happens, I won't be surprised / annoyed. On the other hand . . .

But if the Show think Sam is somehow to blame I think I'm gonna cry.

You and me both, bb. NOT COOL. D: They wouldn't dare . . . would they?
10th-Jan-2014 12:09 am (UTC)
Dean surely saw it that way -- he wouldn't have done it otherwise. ;)

Hee…oh for sure. And maybe because he thinks that it'll be enough for them to leave it at that. I mean, I'm sure they will explore the fallout (which they are already), but it makes me wonder if what Dean did will be addressed.

No problem there -- I want SAM back, darn it.

Yeah. I'm pretty darn happy about that. Great that we don't have to wait episodes to get Sam back. AND we should get to see the potential fall out pretty soon also.

They wouldn't dare . . . would they?

THEY BETTER NOT!!
xx
9th-Jan-2014 01:30 am (UTC)
This is total speculation and highly unlikely, but what if Sam is freed from Gadreel, but doesn't know about Dean's involvement in his possession. I could see that if Sam comes out confused and wondering how he said yes to an angel, Dean could cover and say one got in and somehow fooled Sam, no Dean involvement at all. Cas might well support that lie, especially if he believes that Sam and Dean do belong together and that Sam will be happier not knowing about Dean's part in the whole mess. It would have a Sam/Dean confrontation being put off, but might mean that we will still get one.

The one thing that Sam might want to do penance for is not closing those darned Gates of Hell. Abaddon is running around. Dean is dealing with Crowley. Those soldiers in episode 2 were possessed and died all because Sam didn't finish The Trials. The line with Cas telling Sam that Sam and Dean chose each other would fit if what Sam feels he needs to fix is allowing the demons free reign instead of walling them up. I mean one of Dean's arguments was that they knew how to cure demons, but there hasn't been a lot of demon curing going on, so Sam may see himself as a failure because of the way The Trials turned out. Just a thought.
10th-Jan-2014 04:26 am (UTC)
Hey,

Oh that's a very cool idea - if Dean tries to put off the inevitable fight by not admitting his involvement. I suppose this would also extend the tension of when will Sam find out the truth. And I imagine it would be more Dean just not finding the right time to tell Sam the truth (bit like he did with Zeke/Gad on board) - he might intend to but he really doesn't want Sam being pissed.

The one thing that Sam might want to do penance for is not closing those darned Gates of Hell

Yeah he might. Though he only stopped at Dean's begging. I suppose he could think that he shouldn't have listened and just kept going, but he's certainly not totally to blame for that (though Sam probably won't see it that way). They did choose each other and people have died (again) because of it.

Messy messy (but I love it).

I like your speculation! Not long to find out which direction they'll be taking on this.

(Also, if Sam is staying with Dean in the next few episodes that it makes sense that he might not learn of Dean's involvement straight away).
9th-Jan-2014 02:23 am (UTC)
Mmmmhmmm
9th-Jan-2014 11:05 am (UTC)
just you stop that...
9th-Jan-2014 08:23 am (UTC)
I agree, the way it's being spun doesn't sound positive, but I'm still holding out hope that the greater implications regarding trust, consent, boundaries, choice, and codependency aren't completely IGNORED. For me, there's a difference between brushing over an issue bec. it's an emotional plot point that doesn't have a hugely significant relevance to the plot AND the emotional story (even though some of us in fandom would disagree), which we've seen Show do in the past vs. blatantly ignoring the entire underpinnings/implications of the premise of a whole season and the logical emotional fall out that should reshape The Relationship that SPN hinges on. I will have some serious words if this is treated as a superficial Sam guilt issue and projected onto him with little recourse or exploration of what Dean actually did. Show needs to bring these characters to new places emotionally and then new, interesting, and *gasp* unexplored (even after 9 seasons) aspects of their relationship will automatically open up. Show, it's called character development and I'm ready for it!
10th-Jan-2014 02:18 pm (UTC)
*nods* Yes. Very much so.

I worry sometimes because as fans and regular viewers we have a chance to really think about the implications of what an action can mean for the characters. Or how we think it should be resolved etc. Quite often what we've built up in our minds as what we want to see isn't what TPTB have in mind. We've had all this time to ponder a myriad of possible outcomes and they are only going to give us one. This issue in particular feels like it has such great potential for some interesting character development and I really don't want them to screw it up. I would normally feel confident that they could pull it off but after last season unfulfilled potential (Purgatory Dean for example) I'm not so sure.

Oh well. I'll just have to enjoy the pretty if they don't manage it. :)
9th-Jan-2014 03:10 pm (UTC)
You know what pisses me off about the writers? When Sam does the wrong things for the right reasons all hell breaks loose, Dean spends entire seasons coming down on him for it and they seem to imply that Sam is easily swayed or naive or in Dean's thinking, a selfish bastard, but when Dean does the same they infer it's because of his undying love of family (like somehow that wasn't Sam's reason) and his actions are seen as heroic. Colour me confused because it's never really made sense. We all know that what Dean did was awful yet because they show him feeling guilty I think they feel it will be okay to gloss over it. I too want Sam to completely lose his shit over it all.

Of course I also want them to get past it and go back to all the brotherly love that was around in the earlier seasons. I like a little conflict between them, like what they had in seasons one and two but seriously, the unending wedges driven between them is getting too much. The show would be better with more Sam and Dean united against the world and the conflict being with the actual enemies. It's the reason I fell in love with the show to begin with.

And I'm going to be seriously pissed if they spend the rest of the season making Sam try and atone for something that wasn't his fault at all. Why do they keep writing Sam as being guilty for everything?
10th-Jan-2014 01:14 am (UTC)
I like a little conflict between them, like what they had in seasons one and two but seriously, the unending wedges driven between them is getting too much. The show would be better with more Sam and Dean united against the world and the conflict being with the actual enemies. It's the reason I fell in love with the show to begin with. From your words to the show runner's ear. :) I think this would be a much better show and give many delicious possibilities for exploring that co-dependent bond.
10th-Jan-2014 01:20 am (UTC)
I think Sam may see it as his fault, but I want to see Dean take his share. Also, when thinking of a loved one, I think I have a lot of sympathy for Dean (not that Sam isn't entitled to be angry - if they did at some point agree to never being possessed again.) But, I feel that Sam would not have allowed Dean to go gently into that night either, but might have chose to off himself instead - Ooops! I'd like to see some interesting things manifest from this and move the characters closer together, rather than apart - maybe even 'see' that happening. It's something fanfic excels at and show hasn't done well with. In some ways I feel like show has ground both characters down rather than going the normal heroes journey of having it temper them like steel. I'd like to see them fully accepting their roles and finding pride and worth in it, but I'm not holding my breath.
10th-Jan-2014 06:00 am (UTC)
) But, I feel that Sam would not have allowed Dean to go gently into that night either, but might have chose to off himself instead - Ooops! I

Well last season did establish that Sam would let Dean go if he believed Dean to be dead AND that Sam would not off himself, but instead find a way to go on living and be, I not happy, at least not insane with grief. It may not have been shown the way fans wanted. It may have seemed OOC. It may have infuriated Dean, but Sam let go and didn't do anything crazy to bring Dean back from the dead. So although Sam may understand why Dean did what he did, he can say with absolute certainty that he would have held to the deal that they would let each other go.
10th-Jan-2014 04:47 am (UTC)
Ugggh, yes. I've been thinking about this all season, and it's been really bothering me. Especially the point about how Dean saved Sam for himself, and it's actually cruel to keep torturing Sam like that. Not just when he was about to do it lock down Hell (and what penance would Sam want more than that, really?) but again when he was literally begging Death to just let him stay dead. I almost have hope that they'll address this, because that was taking it too far to ignore. Sam doesn't remember what Dean did, for now, so we haven't actually had a chance to see him deal with it yet.

I see this all as a kind of transference of the writer's fucked up ways of thinking. Yes, it's wrong for Sam to think he's accountable for what angels did while wearing his face just because it made Dean mad, but that is the kind of twisted psychopathology you might expect out of two irrevocably codependent brothers. This has gone from a show about two normal guys dumped into an abnormal life to a show about two deeply traumatized guys just trying to get by. And they do that by taking their issues out on each other. If the writers can't see how unhealthy the boys' decision making has gotten, then I typically assume the writers have their own issues to work through as well.

Either way, it kind of brings new meaning to being a Sam Girl...

10th-Jan-2014 02:50 pm (UTC)
It's a dilemma I suppose because with the show being as popular as it is they have had to keep finding new stories for these boys and it usually means giving them more trauma. It creates drama but it also creates really messed up characters. At the moment they seems so deeply entrenched in dubious decision making (well, Dean mostly) that there doesn't seem a way forward (or a way to ever recover).

I'm also not confident that giving them all this extra trauma really counts toward characterisations (as in the effect it has on them) but rather just story telling. I mean, I know it can't be realistic (they've both been through more than any real human could endure) but I'd like to think that they have some plan to resolve this current (very human) situation between them. I've read some fanfic that does it beautifully - usually with choice dialogue - so it feels like the should be able to do the same. We'll see I suppose. ;)
10th-Jan-2014 10:55 am (UTC)
Well.. erm.. relax and enjoy the ride? ;D *holds you tight* ♥
10th-Jan-2014 02:51 pm (UTC)
Haha! I almost got my icon out! I started this season telling myself that I won't become as emotionally invested. HA!

xoxo
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