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curled around these images
just enough to make us dangerous
Learning that little bit more... 
9th-May-2014 07:20 pm
Sam I Am (not)
I've been thinking more about what Sam said to Cas about his possession and I think it adds another, rather terrifying, layer to his experience.



Sam felt a presence - felt that he wasn't alone. Knowing what Sam had been through with Lucifer it must have been absolutely terrifying to feel like someone else what sharing your "housing". Added to that, Sam wasn't able to talk to Dean about it. Whenever it was brought up Dean diverted his attention. Dean had his reasons of course, but Sam didn't know that. He must have felt like he was going a little crazy - losing time, feeling like he's not alone in his own body. The fact that he's been "crazy" before meant that he's had experience with ignoring it. Which he obviously did.

I wonder why it's taken them until episode 21 to give us that bit of information. I realise that that scene existed mostly for us to start to see that Gadreel could be persuaded to double cross Metatron (and if it was purely for that then I will want to join the indignation some have felt in that scene), but I would truly like to believe they were giving us more insight into what Sam experienced, which might hopefully play out later in the season (shut up! I can hope!).


ETA: Flisties are right! It was retcon so...BOO - ignore that stuff above. :(( *sobs quietly*
ETA ETA: After bouncing back and forth between thoughts offered in the comments I'm back to trusting my first instinct. Mostly, it's canon now so we can take from it what we want (or need). :)

There's also another factor in play I think.



We're seeing the battle between what's considered "good" with what is "right". Dean said he felt calm with the Blade in his hand. A good feeling no doubt. Gadreel possessed Sam with good intentions - heal Sam and begin his journey to be understood. Dean agreed to the possession with good intentions - save Sam. Sam has known what it's like to become powerful, with the good intention of revenging Dean. Cas definitely knows what it's like to want power for the "good" of Heaven. Even way back to Mary agreeing to barter one of her children for John's life - it was a good intention.

We might be left to question if something is considered "good" does it make it right? Even if Gadreel turns out to be misunderstood, an angel seeking redemption with good intention does that make what he did to Sam, Dean and Kevin right? Does Dean allowing Sam to be possessed without consent make it right because it was done with good intent? Does Dean holding the Blade to seek calm make it right? My answer is no to all those things, but maybe it's not as easy as that. Can I dare hope that maybe there's a lesson here in the Winchester world after all? That Carver might indeed have a (cunning) plan in mind when he opened this massive can of worms in 9.01?

I've said to a few that I will reserve my overall judgement of this season after the final frame of S9. I don't expect we'll have all the answers but I am hoping we'll at least see why Carver opened this season with such a divisive, shocking and thought provoking scenario.
Comments 
9th-May-2014 12:40 pm (UTC)
that scene existed mostly for us to start to see that Gadreel could be persuaded to double cross Metatron

At first, I thought they were finally giving us insight into Sam's feelings, but the way Castiel phrased his questions made it clear that his concern was more for Gadreel's recruitability than for Sam. :(

I am hoping we'll at least see why Carver opened this season with such a divisive, shocking and thought provoking scenario.

You and me both. Even though Carver never really explained the mess he dropped on us at the beginning of S8, I hope you're right about the "lesson" of S9.
9th-May-2014 01:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it certainly wasn't about Sam at all. It was just a chance to get intel on Gadreel. I suppose I hold onto a little hope that it was also a chance to find out more about what Sam was experiencing. Though, the comments below suggest it's retcon...and (boo!) I probably have to agree.

xx
9th-May-2014 01:17 pm (UTC)
Honestly, this felt like retconning to me. Sam never gave any indication he felt someone was "rooming with him." When he realized something was wrong, it was purely based on external forces (ie, supernatural creatures pointing it out). So now all of a sudden we're supposed to believe that Sam, who has experience being a vessel, and who fears it, would suspect it and not do or say anything? Nope.
9th-May-2014 01:55 pm (UTC)
Honestly, this felt like retconning to me.

Yeah. It probably was. *sigh* I think if they had thought of it earlier we would have been given a bit of a hint. As it was, we only got his confusion over what others had said to him and the time lapses, not that he felt like there was someone else there. BOO!! It would have been so damn interesting if they had actually considered some of this. :(((((
9th-May-2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
Mmmm I don't know. I'm with caranfindel, I think, in feeling this was purely a device to set Cas down the path of trying to recruit Gadreel as a double agent/sleeper. There was never a hint that Sam was getting any vibes that he wasn't alone, unlike with Hallucifer, and we know from what they did show us that every time he did have a suspicion that there was something going on, Gadreel effectively whammied him.
9th-May-2014 01:59 pm (UTC)
Yep. I think so too now. I didn't want to. I really wanted to believe we were getting more - but alas. I agree, it was retcon and just served to start Gadreel's journey to the "light" side.

though...dammit. It's now canon that he felt that presence. I suppose I'll just have to *handwave* that then. BOO HOO! :((

Which is now even more distressing because not only has Sam been completely ignore in what has happened to him, this scene almost makes a mockery of it. Fuckety fuck.
9th-May-2014 02:06 pm (UTC)
Pretty sure it's a retcon to give intel on Gadreel.

The show has not once indicated that they thought the issue was thought-provoking. It was a "drastic measures" act on Dean's part, the same as he's always done. As always, the show is framing it as an act of love that Sam should accept and that he should just "get over it."
9th-May-2014 02:14 pm (UTC)
*sigh* yes. yes yes and fucking yes. :(((
9th-May-2014 02:07 pm (UTC)
I would love to think you're right and Carver has this big plan of showing a big moral lesson but I'm too jaded now. All I can see is them writing anything and everything that will provide maximum tension and maximum angst, just as they have in the past. Things will get swept under the rug again once the arc has played out.

I honestly think the whole scene with Cas asking Sam about Gadreel was sloppy writing; a way to begin a redemption arc for Gadreel so they can join forces to overcome Metatron. That scene was disturbing on so many levels; for the reason you just gave and for the fact that Sam said Gadreel didn't seem hostile (possibly the most ridiculous sentence ever uttered on the show), just to name a couple.

I'm still enjoying the show, I'm still interested in how this all plays out, but I also still think that the underlying issues themselves are going to be skipped over and forgotten - by the writers, not by the viewers.
9th-May-2014 02:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I'm not sure why I thought it was anything else. i mean I KNEW it was about framing Gadreel, but I really really wanted to believe we were getting something about Sam. Something genuine. Something more, but everyone is right. It was retcon and they really couldn't give a stuff about what Sam went through.

Ok. I'm back to pretending it doesn't bother me and and..just...enjoy ....what...I can... *sobs*
9th-May-2014 02:36 pm (UTC)
yeah, honestly, i hope they shit can Carver and bring back Sera or jesus christ Eric.

what was up with that? Sam said he felt a presence but failed to mention it to Dean. yeah right.

And Crowley's son lose in the world? It's like demon's have possessed the show runner and writers.

I sure hope that the last few episode are as good as the Season 8 finale. after feeling betrayed by the whole Amelia/Sam story line, the ending of Season 8 was amazing.
9th-May-2014 02:45 pm (UTC)
I am also hoping for rather a spectacular ending - that makes it all miraculously work. But even then I think I will remain somewhat bitter that they missed this awesome opportunity to really explore deep issues for both the characters - throughout the season - not just 5 minutes in the finale.

(and yep...still bitter about first half S8).
9th-May-2014 02:50 pm (UTC)
I would really dispute the assertion that this is a Doylist retcon, actually. For the first half of S9 Sam clearly knew something was up but didn't know what. Now that he knows what it was, he can understand and describe his experience better. That's not bad writing. It is bad writing when characters do not behave like normal human beings, which includes reinterpreting past events in light of subsequent revelations.

We might be left to question if something is considered "good" does it make it right? Even if Gadreel turns out to be misunderstood, an angel seeking redemption with good intention does that make what he did to Sam, Dean and Kevin right? Does Dean allowing Sam to be possessed without consent make it right because it was done with good intent? Does Dean holding the Blade to seek calm make it right?

I think these later seasons have been really good about just letting things be a mixed bag. I don't think Gadreel is shown as being right or wrong, I think he's shown as being desperate. I don't think the narrative needs there to be a normative good or bad on making a deal with the acting devil vis-a-vis Crowley, it's just a pragmatic choice in light of Abaddon. And so forth. The Blade is interesting in that it's one of the very few things in the 'verse that might be inherently bad, given its original purpose and mind-sucking capabilities, but even that we don't really know yet.
9th-May-2014 03:08 pm (UTC)
I would really dispute the assertion that this is a Doylist retcon, actually.

Ack! *runs off to find out what Doyist retcon means* Ok..um..I think I've got it. and ok. I like your thinking. In fact, I've had a few (on twitter) suggest the same thing and I can run with it because it can work. It would have been helpful if we had a little more of a hint about that - but I think the way Jared played it, it was as though he was only just now really thinking about it. It's how I'm going to accept it, because it's a lot less painful than thinking it was purely so Cas could find out more about Gad. There's enough evidence to suggest he could only be thinking about it now (Gad had some sort of hold over him while possessed and now he's not he can see it for what it was etc.)

I don't think Gadreel is shown as being right or wrong

True. But I've been wondering about how we tend to refer to characters. "The big bad" etc. I think Gadreel's ambiguity is interesting and I think we do tend to think of a character as inherently "good" or "bad". It's much more interesting when it's mixed up and there's no clarity about it. I am interested in the notion of the characters doing things because they feel them to be "good", when in fact they end up having dire consequences. (I suppose I'm also reacting to comments about Dean doing what he did with good intentions, so it makes it ok).


9th-May-2014 04:15 pm (UTC)
I can't buy the "Gad's presence didn't feel threatening". If it hadn't been for Crowly going in and waking Sam up to reality - and then it still took a fight to get Gad out - Gadreel would still be using Sam as meat suit today. So this sentence just doesn't make sense to me. Whatever Gad's reasons, he was a real threat to Sam no matter how "unthreatening" his presences supposedly felt.

And yeah, I'm back, ready to discuss Show. haha ;)
10th-May-2014 01:15 am (UTC)
hey!!! See! See! It's annoying isn't it? I mull over this stuff and then I have to write it down because I can't stop thinking about it. :))

I think the line was definitely in there to give Gadreel a passage to redeeming himself. It's to clarify that he's not exactly "evil" and therefore he's an angel that Cas might be able to use.

And yes, he did end up being a threat, which is why I like that Sam actually commented on that. He killed Kevin, so yes. He was a threat.

I've been tossing back and forth about whether it's been retcon and I've enjoyed the discussion here. I'm back to believing that there's enough good reasons to believe he could only, just now, be reflecting on it. But moistly, I'm going with it being canon now and it's more info on Sam's possession and that makes me a wee bit happier. :)
9th-May-2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
Retcon or not, I think the creepy continues to come to light with Gadreel walking around and telling people that he's seen them through Sam's eyes and what Sam thinks of them. The invasion of Sam's Self and then having that poured out for others is horrible to contemplate. Worse, he's not even always spinning it like Sam would.

Gadreel with his big talk with Cas about honor….F*$# that sh&*, man.

Well, you know what I mean.
10th-May-2014 01:22 am (UTC)
Gadreel walking around and telling people that he's seen them through Sam's eyes and what Sam thinks of them.

That is SUPER creepy. And if either Sam or Dean forgive Gadreel quickly (forgetting everything he's done) then I won't be a happy chappy (understatement).

Gadreel with his big talk with Cas about honor….F*$# that sh&*, man.

Well, you know what I mean.


Haha! I hear ya! Gad is a messed up dude. Just seeing him change sides, kill Kevin, use Sam's memories (and body) against him make me see him has bad. Though I do like the comment above about him not being portrayed as either good or bad - just desperate. But desperate people can do bad things - and he has.
10th-May-2014 03:38 pm (UTC)
I didn't see this post before now... I see that there's things here that we've been discussing.

Sam is looking back on it when he describes it as "shared housing", but the point of it is to confirm that Sam was in control for most of the time, and that's canon. And as I've mentioned before, I see Sam not being alone as something that could be a comfort, and not terrifying.

I don't see it as a black or white thing. Gadreel doing "wrong" things later on, doesn't mean that the good things he did should be negated and rejected. It's like saying that Sam doesn't have the right to live, because there's a chance that the way he's brought back might have bad consequences. It also ignores all the good things that can come from it (lives saved, cause Sam is there to save people).
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