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Daily Burst -Greatest Hits (8.06 Southern Comfort) 
11th-Nov-2012 08:19 pm
Thinky thougts
This is my broments entry for theheartofspn. I needed to say a lot more about this one so I have created a separate post - which became meta. I suppose everyone will have their own take on that scene. Here's mine.


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There's no doubt there is a heap going on in this scene. I am so excited that we are getting some full on, intense brother moments once again. This stuff is the heart of the show for me. I know the brothers arguing is painful and hard to watch but DAMN it's powerful. It's a clear signal that this show is still about the brothers and their messed up relationship. In fact, it feels more so than it's done since season 4.

I am intrigued by some of this dialogue. It HAS to be pulled apart yes? ;)


Dean: You never even wanted this life. Always blamed me for pulling you back into it. ...

Sam: That's not true.

Dean: Really? Everything you've ever done since you climbed into my ride has been to deceive me.

Sam: What do you want me to say? That I've made mistakes? I've made mistakes Dean.

I think it is easy to only focus on what Dean is saying in this scene. He is revealing all those deep seated hurts and so it draws our attention. But I think it's really (really!) important to remember one of the themes of this season and that's - perspective. Sam says "it's not true". It's hard to really know if Sam does actually blame Dean for pulling him back into the hunting life but from everything we have seen over the years there's no evidence (whatsoever) that this is the case. He's never told Dean he resents him for getting him from Stanford. If anything, Sam is the one to continue hunting even when Dean wanted to give it up.

I believe that this is a "guilt" that Dean is carrying and the spectre has picked up on that and is allowing Dean to vocalise this. If you recall episode 7.04 (Defending your life) Osiris puts Sam on the stand and tries to get him to confess that he blames Dean for getting him from Stanford. Sam denies it and Osiris believes him, stating that it's Dean that needs convincing. It looks like Dean is projecting his guilt for bringing Sam back into the life onto Sam here.

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Garth: That's not Dean, Sam.

I think this is an extremely important statement from Garth. Sam is talking to possessed Dean, trying to reason with him as though it really is all Dean. Sure, some of what Dean is saying rings true to Sam. They are all issues that Sam probably knows Dean is harbouring. But these are NOT things that Dean would say out loud - especially not to Sam. I know Show is using the spectre to have Dean voice his inner issues (which he does) but we also have to remember that part of who Dean is, is being able to keep these real feelings at bay. He may well feel all these things but the "real" Dean can rationalise these feelings.

The spectre seems to remove this rationalisation so those old, deep and hurtful thoughts come out. Consider the wife who was married 30 years and killed her husband. She once, many years ago, felt some jealously that her then boyfriend took another girl to the prom after they had a fight. Over the years she managed those feelings and was able to see how irrational they were. She knew that if she let them surface, they would eat at her and ruin the life she has now. We are allowed to have these irrational jealousies but what makes us human is our ability to deal with them.

It's the same for Dean. He feels ALL these emotions but has managed to put them into some sort of perspective. Day to day we don't see this level of bitterness. Tramping them down is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm sure we all have unwanted feelings (except Garth it would seem) it's what we do with them that makes us who we are.

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Dean:Mistakes? Well, let's go through some of Sammy's greatest hits. Drinking demon blood? Check. Being in cahoots with Ruby? Not telling me that you lost your soul? Or how about running around with Samuel for a whole year, letting me think that you were dead while you were doing all kinds of crazy. Those aren't mistakes, Sam. Those are choices!

Sam: Alright, you said, we've both played a little fast and loose.

Dean: Yeah, I might have lied. But I never once betrayed you. I never once left you to die. And for what? A girl? You left me to die for a girl?

Dean listing all Sam's mistakes is tough - for both of them. I am sure Dean is well aware that Sam turned to Ruby and blood drinking because Dean died. Dean died because he sold his soul. He sold his soul because he couldn't deal with Sam dead. Also, Sam lost his soul because he freed Lucifer. That was an error of judgement on Sam's part but he paid a mighty price and Dean KNOWS that. He witnessed it.

Calling Sam out on all of those things is not something rational Dean would do. He knows why all those things happened. I imagine this is similar to the same guilt Dean feels about bringing Sam back into the life. Rational Dean never plays the blame game. He knows what they have to do to survive.

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Dean's interpretation of "betrayal" is a perspective also. Dean's inner feelings reveal that he felt betrayed by Sam not looking for him when he disappeared. There's no doubt that such a confession from Sam cuts deep. And yet if you asked Dean what should Sam have done he would probably say "get on with your life". We know how important Sam's well being is to Dean. If, given a choice between Sam making a deal or killing himself in the pursuit of trying to find him, Dean would say "haven't you learned your lesson!". He would probably say he did the right thing.

But the spectre is a "monster" and has brought out the thoughts that Dean has worked so hard to deal with. Dean has truly been injured in this hunt. And what's worse? He doesn't even remember it. He can't defend what he said because he doesn't know what he said.

Notice how quick he was to agree to Sam at the end? Rational Dean is back. The thing that Sam didn't realise is that Dean has, in some ways, dealt with all that hurt - that sense of betrayal. He has been managing it. Sam tells Dean to "move on". To be honest I think Dean has been trying to move on. He knows all those deep feelings are brought about by his messed up love for Sam. Whether he will ever be over the guilt is another question all together.

He also says that he has never "betrayed" Sam. That might depend on which way you look at. From Sam's perspective Dean killing Amy may well be an act of betrayal. Dean not coming clean about Benny may also be seen as betrayal. I am not defending Sam here (at all) I am merely suggesting that we can't take what Dean is saying at face value. Just because he says he's never betrayed Sam doesn't make it so.


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Garth: Come on Dean. You do not want to kill your brother. You've been protecting him all your whole life. Don't stop now.

*guh* We know this is true. It's so interesting that Garth is able to cut to what really REALLY matters to Dean. Garth knows this basic truth (somehow) and it's evidence of just how powerful this monster is that Dean's base, true feelings for Sam can't override those painful ones. We know that Dean has been indoctrinated with "look out for Sam" since Sam was born. He sold his soul for Sam - we KNOW what's really in Dean's heart. He bears some bitterness, but it doesn't mean it overrides his love and protectiveness for Sam.

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Dean: He left me to rot in Purgatory.

Garth: Alright. Alright. I wasn't there. I'm sure he has his reasons.

Sam: Just like you had your reasons for Benny.


I love the way Garth gets this so right - "I'm sure he has his reasons".

That works for both of them. They both have REASONS for their actions and so far neither of them have really listened to the other. Or allowed the other to even have "reasons". Their level of jealously here is astounding. So is their level of what they need from each other. (I friggin' LOVE IT!)

Dean: Benny's been more of a brother to me in the past year than you've ever been. That's right.
Cas let me down. You let me down. The only person who hasn't let me down is Benny.


Wow. This is probably the hardest thing to hear (not only for us but for Sam also). It raises the question...what does Dean want from a brother? From what we have seen (and unfortunately I have to site Swap Meat), Dean wants someone who looks up to him, drinks with him and has unquestionable loyalty. A brother who will follow him no matter what. Someone who doesn't question his motives or actions.

But we know Sam isn't that kind of brother. He is SO much more than that. He's a partner, someone who will watch his back and stick by him NO MATTER WHAT. He's someone who will call Dean on his shit. He's someone who will help keep him human. Rational Dean knows that. Possessed Dean only feels the betrayal. This is only a small part of everything else he feels for Sam.

This episode is reminicent of Asylum (when Sam is forced to speak his mind) and Sex and Violence (where they are both forced to). Sam said things that he felt deep down but in reality he was coming to terms with them. Rational Sam knew why Dean followed orders the way he did. In Sex and Violence we find out that what they necessarily want from each other is not what they need. Both of them need the other beyond just being a drink buddy and a yes-man.

That's my rationalising of that amazing scene. There is of course so much more to discuss in terms what was behind everything that was said. But it's not easy. This is not a scene about who's right or wrong. It's not a scene of laying blame or making sense. It's a scene where a monster forced a person who has bravely rationalised and fought dark feelings to vocalise them. It's about giving the brothers something to be divided about so we can watch their journey through to reconciliation. My separation and reunion meta posts (here and here) were all about just that. They do want and THEY WILL find their way back to each other. It may take time but when they do they will have an even stronger understanding for each other. I think there will be growth on both sides. (hee...and if their bond could be any stronger than it already is then it will be...)

I suppose the question now is how are they going to deal with the fallout from all that.

*rubs hands* I can't wait to find out.

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(I also have to say that I love that they are making Sam not looking for Dean a major plot point. It's not some throw away line - it's a major source of the angst this season and I think it's going to be used to really explored what these boys need - not only for themselves but for each other.).
Comments 
11th-Nov-2012 12:51 pm (UTC)
The other things that supports your analysis is the 'blanket forgiveness' Dean gave at Rufus' burial. I believe he was sincere when he said 'all is forgiven'--the spectre pulled those feelings Dean had overcome back into play. Like you point out, the wife in the first murder had been married for 37 years! So I do think the spectre pulled out grievances that Dean had resolved.

The parallels to Sam in 'Asylum' are very striking, even to the point of Sam holding a gun on Dean--and he fired!

And there is the question lingering about what Dean remembers saying. Based on the other victims, I really think he doesn't remember, but good luck convincing Sam (and a lot of Sam!girls ) of that...

The part that made me want to scream at my TV was Sam equating Dean keeping Benny a secret with Sam not looking for Dean. The two things aren't the same magnitude--but what I think is happening is that Sam is projecting his guilt over not looking for Dean AND his guilt for feeling guilty because he felt his was doing the right thing at the time. And we all know that Sam turns his guilt into anger, whereas Dean turns his guilt into depression. So Sam is lashing out.

I shall continue to scream LISTEN TO EACH OTHER fruitlessly...

I better get an epic reconciliation as my reward for suffering through this much angst!
11th-Nov-2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
The part that made me want to scream at my TV was Sam equating Dean keeping Benny a secret with Sam not looking for Dean. The two things aren't the same magnitude--but what I think is happening is that Sam is projecting his guilt over not looking for Dean AND his guilt for feeling guilty because he felt his was doing the right thing at the time. And we all know that Sam turns his guilt into anger, whereas Dean turns his guilt into depression. So Sam is lashing out.

I don't know - I think they are equivalent in the way Sam and Dean themselves are framing the debate. Dean says 'You left me to die for a girl'. Sam says 'You had your reasons for Benny'.

Garth says Sam had reasons for his actions. I'm willing to bet he has good ones - we've got hints, but not absolute answers, yet. But Sam hasn't been explaining those reasons, so to Dean it kind of sounds as though he just shrugged his shoulders and found a singles bar.

And Sam - well, he's been making noises about leaving. But those noises sound less convincing when you look at his panic and desperation in Blood Brother. Dean's always been big on repaying debts and maintaining loyalties (they both have, but Dean especially), but they generally discuss it and go save the day together. That thing where they drop everything and run, and explanations be damned? They reserve that for each other. So Sam comes running, like they do - but when he gets there Dean's fine, Dean's got a new partner he brought with him out of purgatory. And Dean dropped everything and ran off for this stranger.

I think the trouble is that they were torn apart when they were most trusting of each other. And I would say that bad things happened to both of them, although those things are only just being hinted at. They forged new connections out of necessity, and it's hard to talk about those new connections because they are bound up with those bad things. So they tell half-truths, and those half-truths end up dominating the conversation.

At the heart of it, I think they both feel guilty for not being there, and that guilt manifests as jealousy. Benny knows what purgatory was like. Aemilia probably knows why Sam made the choices he did. So they are the same thing, the way they see it.

Er. Sorry. I ramble. But that's how I took it. :)
11th-Nov-2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
BRILLIANT meta, as usual. <33

They both have REASONS for their actions and so far neither of them have really listened to the other. Or allowed the other to even have "reasons". Their level of jealously here is astounding. So is their level of what they need from each other.

. . . which they're never going to get unless they start talking. AND listening. And, well, we know how often that happens in Winchesterland. With all the love between those two, with each willing to die for the other, it's amazing how often they fail to emotionally connect. But Carver said the guys would be "growing" and "changing" this season. I'm hoping this means they'll finally learn to stop talking AT each other and start opening up.

The thing that Sam didn't realise is that Dean has, in some ways, dealt with all that hurt - that sense of betrayal. He has been managing it. Sam tells Dean to "move on". To be honest I think Dean has been trying to move on.

Agreed. The difference between Dean and, say, Garth, is that while Garth legitimately lets things go and moves on . . . Dean shoves things down, represses them and (tries to) move on. But he can't, not really, because all that emotion is weighing on him. But yes, he's definitely dealing with it. Just not very healthily. ;)

One other thing about that climactic scene. As he aimed at Sam, Dean's gun was trembling, just a bit. When has Dean's gun hand EVER trembled? Never. Which kinda makes me think that Dean was in there the whole time, fighting the Specter's influence, even if he himself doesn't remember. As Garth said, he doesn't want to kill his brother, possession or not.

God, I love this show!

Edited at 2012-11-11 01:02 pm (UTC)
11th-Nov-2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
Hey!

Thanks honey. <3

I'm hoping this means they'll finally learn to stop talking AT each other and start opening up.

OMG! I think I'd fall of the sofa if they ever actually had a conversation that sorted all this stuff out. :) I think with the Winchesters they are better at letting their actions speak. Or (it seems) letting the MotW give them some insight.

Dean has always carried these issues. I think we got the first taste of that in Skin. Here the shapeshifter voiced Dean's feelings of betrayal. Not a lot has really changed since then, only Dean has probably gotten better at putting them aside and getting on. Maybe his feelings of betrayal will finally be addressed this season.

Dean's gun was trembling, just a bit.

Oooh, I didn't pick that up. It would be good to think Dean was in there trying to regain control.

I LOVE THIS SHOW TOO! especially when we get good meaty scenes like this to tear into! <33
11th-Nov-2012 01:13 pm (UTC)
There are a few little things I disagree about, but in general: YES, THIS. Dean didn't want to say these things, he wouldn't have if he'd been in charge of himself, and they have been twisted by the spectre. But of course, Sam's heard them, and they hurt him, so he's the one being irrational at the end. They've both already been hurt and confused by the other one's behavior and actions, and now it's SO much worse. This ep, this scene, made it even more important for them to bring this to a point and work through it, and I just hope show will follow through and bring it all to a head.
12th-Nov-2012 11:01 am (UTC)
Hey BB! <3

Ooh and I'm glad there are somethings you agree with. It's one of those scenes that everyone will get something different from it - I think it was written in such a way to leave us with many thoughts. I have no real "set" thoughts on it all. I mostly think they are both coming from places that are right for them at the moment - even if we can see places that it's wrong.

I wouldn't have thought of Sam as being irrational at the end, though as he was hurt, feeling guilty and (therefore angry), it could be considered an irrational response - I can see that.

this scene, made it even more important for them to bring this to a point and work through it

I think what's...um...maybe worrying(?) is that Show tends to not sort these deep seated issues head on. These are old, old issues - ones we've seen back in S1 - so it will be very interesting to see if they DO manage to sort any of this stuff out. These confessions have to have a major impact. And as Dean doesn't know what he's said I imagine it will be Sam we see the most "obvious" suffering from. Though I wonder if Sam will just come out and tell him? Dean would then have to deal with not only saying that stuff to Sam but acknowledging that he actually habours all those issues. Ack....I hope at least we get some resolution by the end of the season.

Thanks for popping by honey! <33
11th-Nov-2012 01:42 pm (UTC)
Amazing thoughts on this ep! This powerful ep left me with such raw emotions that I couldn't wait for the beautiful meta to be wrote about it.

But we know Sam isn't that kind of brother. He is SO much more than that. He's a partner, someone who will watch his back and stick by him NO MATTER WHAT. He's someone who will call Dean on his shit. He's someone who will help keep him human. Rational Dean knows that. Possessed Dean only feels the betrayal. This is only a small part of everything else he feels for Sam.

That right there brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.
12th-Nov-2012 11:02 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! These two and their amazing relationship brings out the warm thinkies.. <3
(Deleted comment)
12th-Nov-2012 11:08 am (UTC)
I think that's been the major thing with this scene - all the different fan reactions. :) Personally I can't take sides. Both brothers are coming from different places so they are both right AND wrong. :)

I also really love the notion of Benny - such a great antagonist in the Dean and Sam angst. I think the producers have created a character that is really going to show us more about the brother's relationship. And at the end of the day? that's what I love...

11th-Nov-2012 02:05 pm (UTC)
I do love your meta. :)

Notice how quick he was to agree to Sam at the end? Rational Dean is back. The thing that Sam didn't realise is that Dean has, in some ways, dealt with all that hurt - that sense of betrayal. He has been managing it. Sam tells Dean to "move on". To be honest I think Dean has been trying to move on. He knows all those deep feelings are brought about by his messed up love for Sam. Whether he will ever be over the guilt is another question all together.

The heart of this story, I think, is that it brought Dean around to being ready to talk to Sam. He begins the episode angry and defensive. Sam has questions about Benny. I don't know that they're especially helpful questions, but Dean hasn't been giving him a lot to work with so I can hardly blame him for asking them. But Dean doesn't want to answer any damn questions and basically tells Sam he should just shut up and deal with Dean's vampire friend.

The scope of the story - the discussion of Bobby's loss, and of how hurtful it can be to see a loved one's place taken by someone else (exemplified by Garth), and the grief and misery of these people who have murdered lovers and friends and colleagues over trifles gives Dean context. Dean feels about Amelia and Sam about Benny what they both felt (although the emphasis is on Dean) when they saw Garth 'be' Bobby - something vital has been replaced with something inferior, and how dare he? But as Garth points out: somebody has to do the job, even if the job is 'confidant in time of need'. And Dean's own outburst, whether he remembers every word or not, is a reminder of how dangerous it is to nurse resentments you don't understand. Just talking about it could clear the air.

So as you say, he comes to Sam at the end ready to agree to almost anything if it fixes things. Garth reminded him that they're all they have, now. The trouble is, Dean had all his honest conversations in this episode with Garth. All Sam knows is he got yelled at and shot at for things that are more complicated than Dean knows. So they switch places, and Sam tells Dean to shut up.

What I find interesting, with regard to Dean's possession, is the way it contrasts with Sam's flashbacks throughout the episode. A lot of what Dean says is either unfair or so far behind them that it shouldn't matter - but the emotional logic of it is clear. It's misery that needs to spill out. The episode brings Sam to the same place, but in flashback - he really wants to talk about Dean. And yet that, we don't see. Even in flashback, that would be a kind of floodgate opening. But it's not there. Sam's misery is still being crushed down.

Er. I blather a lot tonight, apparently. :)
11th-Nov-2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
"Dean feels about Amelia and Sam about Benny what they both felt...when they saw Garth 'be' Bobby - something vital has been replaced with something inferior, and how dare he?"

This is what I LOVE about reading intelligent meta--I never saw this, but it makes absolute sense!

Ditto your final point about the equivalence of Dean's possession and Sam's flashbacks and the need to emotionally dump.

I love your mind!
11th-Nov-2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
thank you so, so much for this. your meta never ceases to amaze me and this is stunning.

i have struggled to sort through all the emotions this episode brought out and you did it so beautifully here.

They both have REASONS for their actions and so far neither of them have really listened to the other.

and

Their level of jealously here is astounding.

YES, so much YES for all of this!!! some days i just want to shake them both and MAKE them listen. and truly, the entire ep really is, at its center, about jealousy.

thank you so much for referencing prior episodes. it makes so very much sense for the consistency of the characters.

Notice how quick he was to agree to Sam at the end? Rational Dean is back.

oooohhhhh, YES!!! my initial take on that was dean was just being dismissive, but no. he's back to being able to rationalize.

lord, you are just. so awesome. i always come to you for a voice of reason and i'm so grateful that you provide it.

thank you.
12th-Nov-2012 11:33 am (UTC)
Hi! Thank you so much. I'm so glad this makes some sort of sense...*g*

To me the writing has been very thoughtful this season - especially this episode. They remembered past episodes and moments in the boys lives that are important to their characteristics and journey. It seems to me that they are creating episodes that are very brother focused and have brought up deep hurts just so they can find some way to resolve them. I hope it keeps playing out that way.

Thanks so much for kind comment. <333
11th-Nov-2012 02:46 pm (UTC)
I think it's interesting too to look at Dean's view of Sam's so called "choices". Drinking demon blood, going along with Ruby, not telling Dean he was alive in S6, not looking for him in purgatory and instead shacking up with Amelia - from Dean's perspective, all of these are choices Sam has made to get away from him (or to leave him).

There are a multitude of other issues underlying of course (not even going to get started on what Sam needs from Dean, including trust and respect), but maybe something that would help out just a little bit would be for Dean to hear from Sam that he's a choice Sam has made. Sam has chosen to stay with him. Sam chose to leave Amelia. Sam's picking Dean here. And maybe Dean just needs to hear it in order to believe it.
12th-Nov-2012 11:41 am (UTC)
Oh yes yes.. and I think that's way I've made the distinction between rational Dean and possessed Dean because I think Dean DOES know some of this stuff. He rationally knows why Sam did many of the things he called him on. If Sam was voicing doubt Dean would be the first to say... it's not your fault. (If fact Dean HAS said this to Dean many times).

I sometimes wonder if Dean actually does see Sam by his side and know that Sam has made the choice to be with him. I suspect he might not see it like that. I never get the sense that Sam does it out of obligation. Hmmm...I think Dean just doesn't trust that someone could do that for him. He has always had that character trait. People let him down. And as much as he sees Sam letting him down in the end he never really has. He has made mistakes but I think he has never deliberately let him down.

It's kinda messy and I think it's why there's been such a diverse reaction to this scene.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

11th-Nov-2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
But we know Sam isn't that kind of brother. He is SO much more than that. He's a partner, someone who will watch his back and stick by him NO MATTER WHAT. He's someone who will call Dean on his shit. He's someone who will help keep him human.
THIS! So much. I totally agree. I am just working my way through this conversation for my own episode review and see a lot of my thoughts reflected in this meta. :)
12th-Nov-2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
I actually love that they have given us an episode that explores what it is to be a brother - what that might mean to both of them.

The dialogue in this scene is rich and open to many interpretations. I think what's interesting is what we know, because we have the benefit of outsider POV, and what Sam and Dean know (or think they know!). It's so beautifully messy. :)
11th-Nov-2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
I haven't read it yet but I just needed to say it: Perfect choice of screencaps. *-*

*off to read*
12th-Nov-2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)

11th-Nov-2012 03:37 pm (UTC)
I agree with the parallel between 7.4 Dean and this Dean. Both when lost in guilt and when lost in resentment, Dean can lose perspective. He looks at ghost!Jo -- someone who was an adult when she got into hunting, someone who had her own complex issues with her own parents driving her decisions, someone who was in the end satisfied with the life and death she had -- he looks at her and he sees Dean. There's a darkness to Dean's guilt, a tendency to appropriate other lives, that shows there, a tendency that was literalized in the erasure of parts of Lisa and Ben in 6.21.

And, under the spectre's influence, he's looking at all of Sam's choices (and non-choices: soullessness was hardly a decision Sam made) and measuring them in that same self-referential way, as betrayals of him. It's very telling that the idea that Sam resents Dean for dragging him into hunting came up in both cases, and was denied by Sam in both cases. Dean can't separate himself from Sam enough to see that Sam's issues with hunting might be Sam's issues with hunting, not Sam's issues with him. I think Dean is deep down terrified of Sam's decisions not being about him at all, because to Dean's damage that would mean Sam not needing him or loving him. It would be worse than a Sam who constantly betrays Dean, because at least being betrayed makes Dean a part of Sam's life. Where I think this is headed on Dean's side is to Dean eventually seeing the part of Sam's life that is independent of Dean not as a threat or as a betrayal, but as something that makes them able to choose each other and give freely to each other.

Sam has a very different set of problems. Sam's reactions are profoundly defensive, and I think that goes way back beyond trying to deny guilt about not searching for Dean. Right from his childhood rebellion against John, Sam experienced his selfhood and his choices as being under siege. And of course they were, not only in the human tangles of his upbringing, but in the cosmic manipulation of his destiny. Though it's enormously hurtful to Dean (and it's been pretty hurtful to fandom!) I can understand both why the profound emptiness of losing Dean had an element of relief for Sam, a feeling that his choices were finally being made without pressure, even the pressure imposed by loving and being loved by someone. And I can see why Sam seems to need to hold Dean at a distance and even reject him, because not only is Dean's return the return of inevitable pressure, but Dean has, in fact, been very directly applying that pressure, disallowing the choices Sam made in that year of emptiness and pushing his own sense of mission for both of them. So Sam ends up excluding and rejecting Dean, overdefending his boundaries against not only Dean's judgmental riding of him (which Sam has every right to limit) but against Dean's legitimate need for an understanding of why Sam did what he did, and Dean's equally legitimate need for Sam to understand where Dean is coming from with Benny, how Dean's own experiences in this instance aren't about Sam. After all, it's only retroactively that Benny can have become the better brother to Dean: the basis of Dean's friendship with Benny was simply shared experience in its own right.
11th-Nov-2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
THIS. And I couldn't pen it as eloquently as you.
11th-Nov-2012 03:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this!

I agree with you about the power of the scene. From the moment Dean raised his gun, I was kind of grinning like an idiot, becoming more and more teary eyed. But yes, it is about the brothers, their relationship, their feelings of hurt, betrayal, jealousy and a lot more. And damn, it was good to have such a powerful scene in this episode. Seems like this was the final kickstart season 8 needed.

I didn't even think of "Defending Your Life" when I watched the scene but you are absolutely right!

I am not defending Sam here (at all) I am merely suggesting that we can't take what Dean is saying at face value. Just because he says he's never betrayed Sam doesn't make it so.

Good point. And one that should be remembered, especially with all the manipulative POV choices this season (all of this is very interesting!).

It raises the question...what does Dean want from a brother?

And isn't that up there in the top 3 of big questions about Dean?
And like you said, we've had "Sex And Violence", "Swap Meat" (I really, really dislike this episode, but still), "Defending Your Life" and now this one. And I really like the fact that you can go back a few years and find an episode that deals with an aspect of just that, maybe from a different POV or something, that they continue discussions from years ago (and okay, that topic never gets old *g*).

They do want and THEY WILL find their way back to each other. It may take time but when they do they will have an even stronger understanding for each other. I think there will be growth on both sides. (hee...and if their bond could be any stronger than it already is then it will be...)

OMG YES.
12th-Nov-2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
Hee... And I too was grinning like an idiot when show actually went there. I was also biting my nails, leaping on the sofa and tearing up. Sure signs this show still has me by the short and curlies. :)

And one that should be remembered, especially with all the manipulative POV choices this season

Yes. I think they have been really playing with what we see and how we see it (and as much as many seemed to hate Bitten I think it was important in reminding us about how we see stories and from whose point of view) .
11th-Nov-2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
Awwww, boys...this is always so painful to watch.  The thing is though, if they didn't care about and need each so much then none of the things they were fighting about would have hurt each of them so much.  Underneath all that anger is the hurtiest hurt and a lot of misunderstanding on both sides.  There isn't a bad guy here. There's enough guilt and defensiveness in there that nobody is really listening to the other one anyhow.

Sam knew that wasn't all Dean and says that right at the beginning of the possession scene.  

SAM: Come on, Dean. I know it's not you in there pulling the strings.

But Sam goes from that to letting it hurt him pretty quickly.  This isn't the face of a guy defending himself, so much as standing there taking it in full of sorrow.  There seemed to be a fair amount of resignation in there, too.



I think it's interesting that each of the victims/possessed killers had a bit of what Dean and Sam are fighting about and it's all in who's view you're seeing it from. In the first, it was a jealous spouse killing her husband for an infidelity that was really all in the eye of the beholder. They had broken up when the guy took someone else to the prom.  The second was a bad business partner who drove the business into the ground.  Sounds familiar.  The third was a guy who's boss was overworking him and making him do a job he didn't want to do.  The last was an ump who made a judgement call that the player didn't agree with.  That's certainly in there with Sam and Dean. The last couple were based on perception too and none of them are killing offences.  

The most important thing for me to see was that usually Sam walks away after a fight like this.  This time he told Dean off and gave him an ultimatum and a warning and then he got IN the car.  
11th-Nov-2012 04:05 pm (UTC)
*goes from meta mode into shallow mode*

That's also the face of someone looking mighty fine in that grey jacket and unbuttoned shirt.

*finds it surprisingly difficult to climb back out of shallow mode*
11th-Nov-2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
Jealousy, I think, it's their fierce jealousy of the other person in the life of their one true love. cannot believe the words coming out of my mouth
13th-Nov-2012 04:43 am (UTC)
Yeah - the jealously is pretty huge. Pretty damned messed up also. It's curious that both of them have this to such a degree. I wonder (I hope) this is something that gets addressed in the future.
<3
11th-Nov-2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
Can I just say I love you so much right now? I mean, I don't think we ever talked before but just marry me right now, okay? LOL

I mean this is everything I've been talking about and seeing someone put it into such nice coherent words is just so good.

I'll post a link to this on my journal, so everyone who is 'bashing' Dean for what he's said can read it.

Thank you, thank you for writing this meta. *squishes*
13th-Nov-2012 04:46 am (UTC)
Hi! Hee - you sure can marry me! I love your fic! (damn! I hope I've actually told you that before now.../o\) :)

Bashing of either Sam or Dean makes no sense at all to me. They are both is such a messy, bad place that surely we should all be showering them with extra love. Those boys need it! :))
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