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8.23 question... 
2nd-Jun-2013 11:33 pm
Ma brother
Something I've been pondering...

8.23-SamnDean-outside

Gratuitous bro touching gif ('cause h/c, Sam's hair and neck, Dean's face and hands <33) - though it is relevant to my question.



8.23-Sam-in-pain2

8.23-LIghts

(I saw a suggestion that the lights could represent where the angels were falling??? Neat idea...)


When Sam doubles over after he's somehow let the light in his arms "go", he's responding to the angels falling isn't he? At first I thought it was part of the subatomic transformation but he was reacting the same way as the batcave was - the bunker was lighting up and Sam was in a heap of pain. Yeah? (not sure why this took so damn long for me to catch on /o\)

This means that Sam is somehow connected to the event of the angels falling. I wonder if they did that just to add to the dramatic tension at the end or whether it's significant that Sam's body is reacting to this event. When the boys were cracking open the tablet at the end of S7, the earth seems to react (which makes some sort of sense I suppose), so maybe it's just the nature of a huge event that makes...um...things act differently (though it didn't effect Dean and Crowley). I thought the bunker lighting up was simply used for dramatic effect, but they really didn't need to add that did they? So the bunker and Sam are somehow connected to this event. Ack! What does it all mean?! Is Sam becoming an angel in this transformation? Is that even possible?! Being purified suggests something like this surely? (do we know how angels are made in the SPN 'verse? Have I not been paying enough attention?).

I think I would like it to all mean something so that the transformation that Sam has been undergoing isn't just going to vanish as soon as S9 starts. Not that I want Sam to be still changing in S9, but I want all those episodes where he was on death's door to mean something. (Though, um, I'm not sure I'd want Sam to become "angelic" while Cas is learning to be human. Do I? *headscratch* I'm not actually sure how I'd feel about that. Depends on how they do it. If it means more Sam and Cas interaction then maybe...)

I wanted to wax lyrical about Sam and his S8 journey but I can't seem to find a place to start. So instead I'll just say that I'm puzzled why I'd read some comments (not on LJ mind) that Sam was being selfish when he mentions Dean turning to Benny and Cas (not wanting Dean to have friends). My reaction is ... UM...WHAT?!?! I know we all watch the show differently (and that's OK!!), but Sam being selfish? Wasn't that all about Sam thinking he keeps letting Dean down? That Dean couldn't turn to him because he thought Dean doesn't trust him? I dunno. I just can't see selfishness in that moment. Quite the opposite in fact. He was totally prepared (again!) to sacrifice himself to save the world. Oh Sammy.

It's completely screwed up of course. But I love it because it wouldn't be Show if it wasn't.

But the thing I mostly loved is that from the very first S8 episode Sam was set on his journey to be able to say the line "You want to know what I confessed in there? What my greatest sin was? It was how many times I let you down. I can't do that again." And not only from 8.01, but also taking into account Sam not getting Dean out of his deal, nor being able to save him from hell. Sure, he redeemed himself by jumping into the Pit, but that was a sacrifice to save the world, not specifically to save Dean.

I've never wanted to admit it but Jared was probably right when he said (S8 spoilers) that Sam wouldn't exactly be pleased to see Dean back. I couldn't fathom that, but it makes some sense because I think Sam is constantly trying to prove himself to Dean. Not that Dean asks him to - it's just because he's the little brother who wants his big brother to be proud of him and to trust him. As soon as Sam saw Dean he must have a) realised he's screwed up big time and b) would know that he has to build that trust all over again. There's no doubt that Sam loves Dean, but it's hard work (like any relationship I suppose).

Two others points I wanted to make:

1. Sam's speech about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. At the time that seemed out of the blue to me - Sam suddenly being positive didn't ring quite true, but looking back I'd say Sam's "light" is showing Dean that he can be counted on - that he won't let Dean down again. He'd be thinking that Dean would see the "light" too by seeing that Sam can be trusted to do this. No wonder Sam wanted to keep his deterioration a secret. I think he was so driven by proving to Dean he could do it.

2. The notion of responsibility was really huge for Sam in S8. As soon as Dean returned Sam was told he had a responsibility to Kevin. He let Dean AND Kevin down. When he hit the dog that took him to Amelia he was told the dog was his responsibility. Unfortunately that moment was badly handled (can't forgive clunky writing), but the idea was there. I think Sam felt some sort of responsibility to Amelia (did he? I'm still trying to figure out what the hell that relationship was all about), certainly a responsibility to the dog and then later to Dean. Oh you is so messed up Sam!.

Ok. I had to get some of that down. I feel much better about S8, simply because I now feel like there WAS some thought given to the overall story arcs - especially for Sam. It doesn't forgive everything (at all!) - but does help me with some of the issues I was initially having trouble with.
Comments 
2nd-Jun-2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
Okay, that whole dang post just made me cry! I think Sam is constantly trying to prove himself to Dean. Not that Dean asks him to - it's just because he's the little brother who wants his big brother to be proud of him and to trust him.

Sniff!
2nd-Jun-2013 03:52 pm (UTC)
*hands tissue*

Sam has that effect on me too. <3
2nd-Jun-2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
I'm puzzled why I'd read some comments (not on LJ mind) that Sam was being selfish when he mentions Dean turning to Benny and Cas

You know I love you and Sam, but Sam totally spent a lot of this season acting like a little jealous pain in the ass.* This was basically the only emotion I got from Sam in the first arc of the season with regard to Dean.

*(As did Dean, although Dean was pretty justified in being pissed about being forsaken by Sam since Sam never gave him a good reason he didn't look for him. Not that there definitely WASN'T a good reason, just that Sam (and the Show) never communicated one.)

If the show was going to make this whole season about Sam making his "failings" up to Dean, their approach was, shall we say, too subtle for me to catch...
2nd-Jun-2013 04:08 pm (UTC)
Ah! Ok.. see, yes. I was thinking that also. I pretty much hated the first half of the season (well, not all of it - I liked Dean in Purgatory and I liked Benny).

I suppose I'm not entirely convinced that they set out make it all about making his failings up to Dean - but I do think it was a theme they were playing with. I'm in two minds about how I feel about that - on the one hand - NO, we've been there and Sam shouldn't be feeling this and grow up Sam etc., but on the other hand I WANT to see this stuff from Sam. I want Sam's failings to matter. And yeah, it could be argued they aren't really failings but from Sam's POV I can see that they would be.

The jealousy thing was damn annoying in the first half - from both of them - but I'd like to think that it was about them working through those jealousies. Dammit - I don't know. Maybe I'm still riding high from that scene. I know it opens up a whole heap of other issues and solves nothing really, but I can't deny that I've been desperate to see the toll the years have taken on him. (And I am still annoyed he didn't look for Dean - so maybe I DO want him to feel bad about that...shouldn't probably, but dammit Sam..)

They broke Dean and then built him up again - maybe they're doing the same with Sam...?
2nd-Jun-2013 03:52 pm (UTC)
mmmm that gif tho
2nd-Jun-2013 04:04 pm (UTC)
haha it took my 10 freaking minutes to figure out how to reblog from your blog directly. I am Tumblr-dumb.
2nd-Jun-2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
After watching all of it and thinking about it, I agree with you. I feel better about season 8, having seen it all. And that there was some plan, even though the execution wasn't so great at times. *coughs* Understatement *coughs*

I'm gonna admit that I never even thought about the connection between the badcave and Sam's pain. I though it was from whatever was left inside of him doing the trails. But I really like your reasoning. I wouldn't want him to turned into an angel, though. But maybe he can be purified nonetheless and finally feel like he's not the freak anymore.

I don't think they ever said how angels are made. I think they just are. It's not like souls in hell getting transformed into demons after years of torture. Or maybe it is? *is confused now*

About the Sam being selfish thing. Man I've read so much shit (not on LJ) about Sam being selfish and Dean being an asshole in the finale. It's seriously getting on my nerves, so I'm trying to stay away from those people.

I for one am excited about season 9 and want to see where they take it. :)
2nd-Jun-2013 04:20 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't want him to turned into an angel, though. But maybe he can be purified nonetheless and finally feel like he's not the freak anymore.

Yeah, I can't see that they'd go the way of turning him into an angel - but maybe if he'd completed the trial he'd die and...um...go to heaven purified, or something? I wonder if we'll get answers to that next season.

about Sam being selfish and Dean being an asshole in the finale

Yeah, I know it's not one sided. I always see both of them as having flaws and much of it exists in order to create the drama. I can never see either of them in a negative light - even when they are doing negative things. It's always for a reason. With at least 2 seasons to go it's unlikely these issues will be resolved quickly...;)

I am very excited for S9!! (I didn't think I would be, but I am now...:) )

xx
2nd-Jun-2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
(I saw a suggestion that the lights could represent where the angels were falling??? Neat idea...)

That's what I assumed it meant right away. And I totally agree with your thoughts re Sam reacting to the mass angel-fall. The final trial never completed, and he appeared to have fought off the onset of symptoms, so it HAD to be a reaction to the angels falling.

some comments (not on LJ mind) that Sam was being selfish when he mentions Dean turning to Benny and Cas (not wanting Dean to have friends). My reaction is ... UM...WHAT?!?! I know we all watch the show differently (and that's OK!!), but Sam being selfish? Wasn't that all about Sam thinking he keeps letting Dean down? That Dean couldn't turn to him because he thought Dean doesn't trust him? I dunno. I just can't see selfishness in that moment.

As a Dean!girl who loves Sam, I'm with you there. I don't get it, either, but I have for sure seen comments like that coming from those who have no love for the younger Winchester. I'm not really surprised that those folk would see "selfishness" instead of pain. Fandom, man, what're you gonna do? :/

I think I would like it to all mean something so that the transformation that Sam has been undergoing isn't just going to vanish as soon as S9 starts

From your lips to TPTB's ears!
2nd-Jun-2013 04:27 pm (UTC)
so it HAD to be a reaction to the angels falling.

Yeah. It's so clear now. During the ep I thought it was the after effect of the trials. But Sammy got a double whammy...

Fandom, man, what're you gonna do? :/

Yeah and I don't get into any discussions about it outside of LJ because I get that people have set ideas about the characters. I suppose I can see how Sam could be seen as selfish, but I've never seen that in him (even in S1!), so I'm probably a little blind to it anyway...;D

xox
2nd-Jun-2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
I did assume that the lights etc were a result of the monitoring equipment reacting to all the angel phenomenon as they fell - much as in early years demons were tracked by electrical disturbance.
I'm afraid my theory about the angels falling (and specifically the one in the lake near Sam and Dean) is much more simplistic. Sam needs to be healed and only a miracle will do it - remember what happens when angels fall? (Anna's tree) - there is a miracle in the area that the grace lands. Having been disappointed with the writing all season I'm very afraid that this is the writers' all purpose instant fix get-out-clause. Please let me be wrong about it.
2nd-Jun-2013 05:16 pm (UTC)
Ooh I'd forgotten that miracle thing...interesting idea. Mind you, we still don't know whether the act of falling (or being thrown out of Heaven) in itself strips the angels of their grace or not.
2nd-Jun-2013 04:04 pm (UTC)
Honestly I thought Sam's pain was because during the changes he could now hear the angels, so could hear them screaming as they fell?
2nd-Jun-2013 04:05 pm (UTC)
oh, good idea!
2nd-Jun-2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
I think the red circles were falling angels or sensors in specific location registering the falling. Sam may have been physically connected to it. Crowley knows something is happening and knows to look up even if he's almost human at this point. The thing I keep thinking is that Sam isn't really going to be able to just let go of the changes in his body from the trials. He may not become an angel. I don't think the light was the right color to be angelic grace, which is blue. I think there is a possibility that he'll be able to identify the fallen angels though. At this point, his blood is a weapon against demons. Maybe it matters how long he stays in a state of grace after his confession.

I've been going back through all the transcripts looking for stuff for a meta and it's amazing how many times duty and responsibilty come up. It's not just Sam. It was revisited over and over. The other thing that comes up is when to stay with that duty and when to let that go and how much choice do you really have in your life to do that. Sam had to make that choice over and over.
3rd-Jun-2013 06:59 am (UTC)
I think there is a possibility that he'll be able to identify the fallen angels though

Oooh, that's an interesting idea. If they make some sort of connection (anything!) I'll be content. Another easy fix of a major problem will be a little disappointing.

And yes. Responsibility is certainly not new to the SPN 'verse. It's pretty much where it all started. I saw this season as a sort of reset - revisiting a lot of where it all began - Sam wanting normal, Dean being comfortable in the hunter role, Sam rediscovering what his responsibilities are etc. I just wonder if Carver did that so he could tell his own story now - as in over S9. We have the boys back together - still with lots of issues between them, but maybe he's put them back on this track for a good reason (or am I being too optimistic?!)
3rd-Jun-2013 07:03 am (UTC)
There has to be consequences for not completing the trials,

Right! I so want it to mean something. Too often they've dropped these really significant moments. - Dean's experience in Purgatory was one of those I felt (as well as Sam being magically healed! in BAI).

the continuity errors were really, really bad this season for some reason

The continuity errors were so annoying. They have to know their audience is dedicated (like whoa!) so they really need to make an effort to get that stuff right. Sure a quick check of the Wiki would keep them up to date...;)
2nd-Jun-2013 04:40 pm (UTC)
I guess I'm a cynic, but I think giving up the Trials was the end of the transformation idea. I will be somewhat amazed if it carries through into s9.

I agree with galwithglasses that the responsibility message wasn't a simple one, that letting go of or questioning certain kinds of responsibility is important, as well as taking responsibility. Maybe next season for Sam will involve some happy medium between the idea of running away and the destructive orbit he got into having internalized the idea that letting down Dean = sin. And giving up the Trials in itself was a very tricky decision responsibilitywise, for both Sam and Dean: they arguably let down a lot of people with that choice. There's a lot of stuff there for Dean to work on, too; I feel in some weird way he's very close to the Dean of the end of s6, except not a suicidally depressed alcoholic. There's a need for him to get some kind of distance and sense of the full reality of other people, so that neither his subjective guilt nor his subjective rightness or sense of injury nor his subjective need to protect come to operate as the laws of physics for other bodies around him. /bad metaphor But I think they have a real problem doing that kind of arc for Dean, because he's so often the POV character that the narrative itself tends to orbit around his subjectivity.
3rd-Jun-2013 07:12 am (UTC)
I guess I'm a cynic, but I think giving up the Trials was the end of the transformation idea. I will be somewhat amazed if it carries through into s9.

I'm with you. I WANT it to all mean something, but experience has left us cynical because we know how they finish one idea to move onto another one so...easily

And yes yes to what you say here. You always have such interesting insights on the characters. I fear that the writers just don't think that deeply. Though, I think they do need to look at those issues for both of them - I'd love to see them do more with Dean's emotional arc this coming season. And NOT through petty jealousies for making the other one feel guilty about how they've reacted to something. I'm not sure where Sam's confession will put Dean now. Or where it puts Sam. Will it even be brought up again? Will they carry on as though that never happened (as is often the case).

I suppose we'll have to wait and see. I'm already wanting to see/hear spoilers. They can't be nearly as distressing the season 8 ones....
2nd-Jun-2013 05:12 pm (UTC)
I was definitely under the impression that Sam's pain at the end was connected to the fall of the angels in some way, though I also thought maybe the 'letting go' of that final transformation was not working too well either. And I had assumed that the Batcave map lights were the falling angel locators - or at least danger alerts that were picking up supernatural anomalies. I don't know how the MoLs could have had an angel alert system set up...but who knows.

Re: Sam being selfish, I'd thought it was more a jealous reaction, and afraid of somehow losing Dean to Benny. I liked it when they had him explain his thinking (the whole letting Dean down thing which broke my heart for him *sniffle*) because that made sense - he saw how Benny had saved Dean over and over, how Benny hadn't let Dean down and therefore Benny was not only a rival in a sense, he was a real threat to Sam's self esteem, having done what Sam thought he had constantly failed to do. So having him around would be like having an open wound constantly on view and bleeding.
3rd-Jun-2013 10:22 am (UTC)
I am really curious to know the "power" of the MoL bunker. It seems to be a magical place - I love them to explore that next season.

I initially thought Sam was jealous of Benny so it was great to finally realise that Sam was actually feeling like he'd let Dean down. I remember being annoyed that after the episode where Dean was possessed and telling Sam "Benny's been more of a brother than you've ever been", we didn't get any fall out from Sam. He seemed to take it on the chin - where really, he was building up to this final scene.

So having him around would be like having an open wound constantly on view and bleeding.

Yeah. No wonder he wanted him dead. Benny was evidence of Sam's failure (in Sam's mind of course...)
xx
2nd-Jun-2013 05:29 pm (UTC)
I am totally with you on the lights in the Batcave registering where the Angels were falling. That was my first though when I watched the episode and thought it was so cool, that the Batcave went on high alert at so many Supernatural beings appearing at once.

I'm not sure about Sam becoming an Angel I thought it canon that that isn't possible as we saw in 'Houses of the Holy' when Father Gregory tells Sam and Father Reynolds that he was shot on the steps of the church, that he was a man and now an Angel father Reynolds tells him.

You are not an angel, Thomas. Men cannot be angels.

So I pretty figured that put paid to that but who knows, they retconned so much of their mythology last season that maybe that is now actually possible.

I didn't see Sam's words to Dean about turning to Castiel and Benny as selfish either. I agree it was about him acknowledging his feelings that it was his fault that Dean did that because he couldn't trust Sam but I do think there was selfishness ob both their parts in the beginning of the season but toward the end I think the writers tried somehow to resolve that.





2nd-Jun-2013 06:11 pm (UTC)
So the bunker and Sam are somehow connected to this event. Ack! What does it all mean?! Is Sam becoming an angel in this transformation? Is that even possible?! Being purified suggests something like this surely?

I admit I will be somewhat ... concerned if Sam becomes an angel. The only angel I ever really liked was Anna. The rest of them get on my nerves. I'd really hate it if I had to start disliking Sam. :)

Anyway, I don't know that I'd equate being purified with becoming an angel. Angels have been so routinely depicted as evil and corrupt that it's quite hard to associate them with anything good. And Sacrifice was rife with that, between Metatron's duplicity and his apt description of the behaviour of the archangels and their followers.

In Supernatural, I'd equate being purified with being human – completely free of supernatural forces. And that was a big thing in the episode, too. Demons were once human and can become so again. Angels were never human (so they claim, anyway) but become so in falling. Everyone is moving toward humanity.

And that puts Sam right in the centre. In performing the trials he effectively turned himself into a door between the supernatural and the mundane – between hell and earth. His death was to be the closing of that door. And that would be 'purified' in a way, because not staying dead has been a big source of Sam's problems. Dying properly is human.

But the door didn't close. Instead it is not only open, but manifested in a living human being. And given his history, Sam really is the natural focal point for this idea. Angel vessel, demon blood, but determinedly human. He's a crossroads. So, yeah, if I had to guess I'd say he felt the angels' fall because at the moment he basically represents a road between worlds; a road that the angels are now using – although not the part of it where he was planning to install a roadblock, obviously. :)

Whether or not they'll do anything with that scene I don't know, but they could do any number of interesting things with it. It sits at the core of Sam's issues, after all: that tension between striving for humanity and dealing with the supernatural.
3rd-Jun-2013 02:59 pm (UTC)
well put.
2nd-Jun-2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
I hadn't made the connection between Sam being in pain not once the trials were over for him, but once the angels started falling. But I did fic about how the light we could see in his arms was something like an angel's grace (and then electricalgwen called it "maybe-grace", which I really liked). So it would make sense that if whatever spell Metatron cast was throwing the angels out of Heaven and therefore ripping their graces out, that Sam would be feeling something similar being torn from him.

Which suggests that he'll have had the reset button pushed with regards to the effects of the trials, another angelus ex machina instead of actually dealing with the physical effects of the trials. The h/c'er in me has a sad.

Edited at 2013-06-02 06:55 pm (UTC)
3rd-Jun-2013 02:56 pm (UTC)
link to fic?
3rd-Jun-2013 12:28 am (UTC)
Huh. I never thought to connect Sam falling down again and the angels falling, but you're right that the timing might suggest a connection (or, as happens so often with the show, it maybe just be a dropped opportunity). I'm very interested to see how this turns out next season!
4th-Jun-2013 02:56 pm (UTC)
I think there was some sort of connection, but I'm really not sure what they were trying to suggest with it. Some ideas in the comments have been really interesting (none of which the show would have considered I'm sure...;/)

I am really looking forward to seeing where they go next.
xx
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