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curled around these images
just enough to make us dangerous
Argh! I'm conflicted! 
25th-May-2014 10:30 am
Hot not plot!
My darling friend redteekal (who is currently at the JiB con - lucky duck!) tweeted me something about one of Sam's lines in the finale that I'm not entirely sure what to do with.

Because clearly my attempt to not think about the show OR the finale is not working...



So a few days a go I posted some thoughts on tumblr about one major thing that has upset me this season (though why I did on tumblr I have no idea because chatting over there is IMPOSSIBLE!).

Anyway. It's basically came down to Sam saying "I lied" when Dean says he thought Sam was "ok with this".

It seems that there are a few different interpretations (which, hello, of course ;D) and one I was beginning to like was they he was referring to their earlier discussion by the van. Mostly because a) it was obvious that Sam didn't mean he wouldn't save Dean (when he said it earlier in the season) so didn't need to say he lied (though I accept most of the audience and Dean thought it was true) and b) the WHOLE line - INCLUDING "same circumstances", was massively important for (finally) giving Sam some clarity and perspective on the lines the boys cross for each other.

The is big for me. The only squee I've done this season was that episode. Purely because I thought they were beginning to examine the nature of what they do to each other (and other people) when they keep bringing each other back.

BUT! Jared has confirmed that "I lied" wasn't in the original script. Instead it was "I didn't think this was gonna to happen".

Jared changed it. He felt that Sam did lie when he said those lines - because Sam was hurt and wanted to hurt Dean.

Which I TOTALLY get (and got at the time). Sam was angry and lashed out, but I truly believed there was some truth in what he said. I really wanted to believe he said he wouldn't save Dean in the same method that Dean saved him. Appears not after all. :(

Unfortunately this erases ALL thoughts that any of those lines were about any sort of realisation on Sam's part. BOO! It even confirms it's not even part of the story telling (double BOO!).

Though I suppose it does mean I can be happy that fandom has "forgiven Sam* because he admitted he lied. *sigh* (maybe the Sam bashing reached Jared and he felt he had to make amends?)

It does clarify that the original line WAS referring to their earlier conversation by the van. Dean thought that Sam was ok with him using the blade - even though he knew the possible outcome. It's multi-layered though because I think that DEAN fully believed that Sam wouldn't save him - so him coming to his rescue may have been a surprise to him (which I personally struggle to accept, but that's the way they've written it I think). And I think Sam probably didn't think that Dean would lose to Metatron. Having seen Dean in action with the blade made him look like a sure thing. It also confirms that that earlier argument between them was off the writing table. It was only there to drive Dean toward the blade. There were no ramifications for Sam. He just had to say stuff to piss Dean off and walk away. Job done! (oh? You actually had real feelings on being possessed and being trick and lied to? Haha..no you didn't).

At least the "I lied" did bring it back to that moment and I suppose out it gave some sort of closure for Sam. If Jared thinks it brings closure for Sam then I'll have to accept that. But how sad that the writers didn't think of that for Sam. They really don't have an idea about him do they?

Dammit. I ranted on again. I have no idea why this tiny tiny section of dialogue means so much to me. I am going to let it go now. I promise.



In other news fandom seems to have exploded over Jensen saying there's nothing more than friendship between Dean and Cas. I'm not venturing too far out there because, boy, emotions are high. I am, however, proud of Jensen for finally saying something that's clear about the relationship. I'm a little confused how this is any sort of deal breaker though. Nothing has changed. Not a thing. Fans can still read whatever they like in the relationship. Same way they do for Sam/Dean. Dean/Cas has never existed in the text, same way Sam/Dean hasn't. Don't mean you can't ship it! :)

Ooh, conventions do stir things up a bit (mostly by people not actually there it seems). :)
Comments 
25th-May-2014 03:48 am (UTC)
"Same circumstance" doesn't have to refer to method... it just means that Sam wouldn't have saved him, if the situation was reversed, and Dean was dying.

And I think Sam probably didn't think that Dean would lose to Metatron. Having seen Dean in action with the blade made him look like a sure thing.

He was ok in letting Dean take on Metatron, because Gadreel and Cas were going to heaven to destroy the angel tablet. It wasn't a sure thing, he knew Metatron had the power of the angel tablet, and was more powerful than Abaddon.

Sam did bring up some of his feelings about being possessed in the finale (in his conversation with Dean, when Crowley was there in the background). I'm not surprised that there hasn't been much focus on Sam's feelings, because we get very little of that, even when he's the focus of the mytharc, so when that's taken away, there's even less of it.

I'm glad Jensen said what he did about Dean and Cas. The problem is that some people can't just enjoy their own interpretation, and be content to ship it... they want it to be part of the show... that's their major focus, and reason for watching. And some of them are hating on Jensen. :(
25th-May-2014 04:03 am (UTC)
How are emotions high with Jensen stating that there is only friendship between Castiel and Dean? He's always been clear about it, no? Desiel is not canon, right? I mean, I'm really more of a wincest gal but I'll read Destiel sometimes. How is it such a big thing suddendly?

I'm only curious here.
25th-May-2014 04:48 am (UTC)
When I was watching the finale and the "I lied" line was said, I immediately thought of Sam and Dean's conversation at the trailer park. That Sam was agreeing with Dean and not fighting Dean's plan of going against Metatron because he didn't want Dean to do it alone. Just the same as Dean wanted to be at the Stull cemetery in Swan Song so that Sam wouldn't die alone. And then I remembered my all-time favourite line of Sam dialogue from 6x23--- "You know me. You know why. I'm not leaving my brother alone out there." And I squeed and I fist-pumped. I was so happy that THAT Sam was back.

I didn't even think about it possibly referring back to The Purge and the amazing 'same circumstance' speech. It wasn't until I started reading reviews and reactions on my f*list, and saw that fandom was connecting it with that speech. And my reaction was WTF????? To say after all this time that Sam was lying (I'm counting it as a retcon as it was clearly not the writers intention at the time) shatters the strength and power of Sam's words and convictions and (for me) tarnishes something in Sam that was, in that moment, awesome and brave and courageous. I was so proud of Sam in that moment (and I still am) but a little of the gloss has been taken off it by two words said months after the fact--- "I LIED."

That said, I'm still sticking to my initial reaction and ignoring any connection to the mid season ep. And sorry, Jared, but for the first time ever I think, I'm going to ignore your interpretation of Sam and his motives. I know you know him better than even the writers but I simply can't agree that Sam was not telling Dean the truth.

Oh and fandom (or at least parts of it) haven't forgiven Sam for trying to save Dean. He's being called a hypocrite for saying one thing and doing the opposite. Poor boy just can't win, it seems no matter what he does or doesn't say or does or doesn't do.
25th-May-2014 08:42 am (UTC)
I immediately thought of Sam and Dean's conversation at the trailer park.

Yeah, I didn't. I immediately thought of the much earlier conversation. Someone mentioned to me that they wouldn't be referencing something that far back and it made sense to me. They wouldn't. So I started to read that as Sam being ok using the blade to kill Metatron. Then Jared changed it to refer back to that conversation (which has obviously been playing on his mind too). So yeah, I suppose it's totally open to interpretation. Either way they've more passed it. Which is probably a good thing. It was doing my head in this season. Waiting and waiting for it to mean something.

I was so proud of Sam in that moment (and I still am) but a little of the gloss has been taken off it by two words said months after the fact--- "I LIED."

Me too. He stood up for himself and said I wouldn't save you in the same way. Well, that's how I read it. Seems like it did actually mean I wouldn't save you - which is TOTALLY ridiculous. Can anyone imagine Sam just waiting for Dean to bleed out and say "I'll let you die now".

I was hoping they might even show that Sam had a choice to do something to bring Dean back that would compromise Dean (a deal that Dean would hate) and Sam decided to let Dean stay dead. In peace. We'll never know - unless they pick it up next season. But they won't. He was about to summon Crowley. though who knows if he would actually make a deal. I'd like to think he's learned his lesson.

He's being called a hypocrite for saying one thing and doing the opposite. Poor boy just can't win, it seems no matter what he does or doesn't say or does or doesn't do.

Oh man, I haven't seen that. ItI completely surprises me that people actually thought Sam meant he wouldn't try and save Dean. Even in episodes prior to that we had Sam coming to Dean's rescue. He meant (my interpretation) he won't do something stupid to bring him back.

I'm just going to stop reading stuff into the show now. Stopp trying to join dots. There's no attempt at deeper meaning - just what they can do to drive the story forward. I think the parallels are there - but I'm thinking that's more about just re-hashing old themes. (reminds self: watch for the pretty!)
25th-May-2014 06:53 am (UTC)
I think you can take these things "I lied" however you like.

By the by, dragonfly_sg1 linked us to this article, which I found really good as meta. I do love reading from the perspective of someone still really invested. Especially as I was feeling there was some laziness in the story-telling, but I prefer her idea that it's actually parallels to earlier seasons which makes a lot of sense. :)
25th-May-2014 06:55 am (UTC)
Jared or Jensen (can't remember which) did say there was a lot of parallelling with early seasons going on in Season 9 so I think that was deliberate.
25th-May-2014 06:53 am (UTC)
I was sitting there listening to Jensen saying that about Cas and Dean's relationship (with an aside about Jensen and Misha! LOL) thinking oh my, the Tinternet is going to explode now. The room, on the other hand, gave him a big round of applause!
Sigh.

Like you say, him saying this changes nothing in fantasy land, we can still imagine whatever we wish, from Destiel to tentacle porn and not one iota of it will be real. I guess some folk just keep making Dean's mistake of confusing reality with porn.
25th-May-2014 08:51 am (UTC)
Haha - yes. It would be like Jensen saying anything doesn't exist in the show that we imagine.

He's pretty upfront about it and I think that's needed. Misha likes to play around with it, but I don't think he fully appreciates how seriously some people take it. And how hurtful that can be at some point. I saw this major meta how Jensen's small head turn to Misha in the previous con meant that destiel was about to become canon. I just.
25th-May-2014 09:12 am (UTC)
I really need to buck up and watch this episode again, so many of their conversations this season have had ambiguous dialogue, it's hard to grasp 'exactly' what was meant.

The 'I lied', I initially took it as a reference to Sam's insistence they should stop saving each other at all costs, but this wasn't the end was it? Right then Dean was still alive, so I took the 'I lied' not literally but in the same throw away manner someone would say "Well sue me, of course I'm here for you".

I've been thinking about it a lot, because I've always known Sam would do everything he could to save his brother, but as determined as he was in his principles and not cross his personal lines of morality, no one really knows what they'll do until tested. Therefore I also expected Sam would be tested. If you draw some parallels then you could say, Dean knew the blade was turning him, he was ready to die, asked Sam in as many words to let him go, so by some interpretations of Sam's words he should have let him go. However it doesn't parallel in the same way. On the surface, maybe Sam should have taken his brother at his word and as soon as his life passed, hacked off his head and burnt his body, we know Sam didn't do that last time because Dean was in hell and he was determined to save him, should this time have been different?

To me no. Sam did the right thing and it wasn't against that speech either. We don't know what Sam was going to do, but he knew it was Crowley he needed, not an angel to cure Dean's wound, not god to resurrect him, but Crowley. Therefore, to me, Sam knew the blade had changed Dean, there can be no peace for Dean's soul as Sam thought there would be for himself if he died after the trials. Dean's soul was hell bound and I think that very thing rips at the heart of all the parallels.

I think Sam still has his moral principals firmly in place, regardless of the 'I lied' line. If he knew Dean was at peace he still wouldn't do and still hasn't done anything against Dean's wishes. Sam knows Dean's not at peace, now what he does next is more interesting and complex than what we've seen so far, because next is the crunch time, what did he want Crowley for? To deal or to threaten, maybe plea, I don't know, but part of the decision has already been taken away from Sam, Dean is animated and alive again without Sam's interference. (Although I'm confused now by this, have we seen a demon in it's own meat suit before? Tell you the truth I never really 'got' the 'cure a demon' because of the dual occupancy, but curing Dean seems to be more of a viable option if his own soul is still in his body, just corrupted by the Blade and Crowley.) What lines Sam can hold and which ones he's willing to cross now hang in the balance.

I'm not upset by that 'I lied' line at all, a lot of the other garbage that went down? Yup!

And you already know how I feel about the "Destiel is/has/will be canon" mutton heads.
25th-May-2014 10:38 am (UTC)
Yes to all the above! :D
25th-May-2014 09:12 am (UTC)
Hm. I say this as someone who missed the last half season, and thus has no angst at all, but from what I've read about how it played out, that seems a shame.

One of my favourite things about Appointment in Samara is that Dean doesn't save Sam. He doesn't go into his stint as Death with the view of just doing as he's told to get Sam back. He wants to do the right thing. Some of his ideas on what's right are pretty screwed up, but he tries. And when he realises he's made a mess, he has a choice: save the man as Death, with all the horror that entails, and 'win' Sam, or save him as a normal human being and 'lose', but know that both he and Sam could live with that choice. When Sam got back, he was always going to ask what the price was, and Dean had to be able to answer that question with a clear conscience.

And the fact that he could gave Death the evidence he needed to know that bringing Sam back would make things better, not worse.

One of the things that really made me twitch about the last season and a half (till I gave up) was how much they erased the knowledge and self-awareness they'd gained. Sam would have every right to be outraged at the way Dean saved him, and should say he wouldn't do the same.

One of their hardest lessons was to realise that they just can't say 'I would do anything for you', because their 'anything' includes destroying the whole planet.

But this is where alternative interpretations come in, I guess. :)
25th-May-2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
One of the things that really made me twitch about the last season and a half (till I gave up) was how much they erased the knowledge and self-awareness they'd gained. Sam would have every right to be outraged at the way Dean saved him, and should say he wouldn't do the same.

This above everything! They've already learned their "lessons". They've shown all the things that Carver is telling us they don't know anymore. It was obvious when they decided to revisit Sam wanting "normal" again. And this season, presenting Dean who just couldn't live without Sam. And as much as it's a great romantic notion, he proved he could do this after Sam took Lucifer back to the cage.

It's been said many times that Carver is re-hashing past story lines - which he clearly his. It's sad that he doesn't seem to be putting his own spin on it OR taking it even further (and making it more interesting).

One of their hardest lessons was to realise that they just can't say 'I would do anything for you', because their 'anything' includes destroying the whole planet.

Yes! And I have to say I was hoping at least they were putting this out there when Sam said what he did. Instead the writers have either copped out or decided to leave it until next season to deal with. I think the former. And then Jared decided to announce that he lied and wow - murkys everything!
25th-May-2014 09:22 am (UTC)
Do you happen to know the exact wording of what Jensen said? Some people are saying he shot down the 'romance' interpretation of things only while others are saying that Jensen was hating on everything Dean/Cas including the basic friendship between the two. So without being there it can be hard to know what was actually said.

Either way I am not particularly bothered by the statement as if it was just the 'Destiel' aspect of thing it doesn't come as news to me (I've always been realistic in my shipping). If it was everything D/C including their friendship while disappointing I can just take it as one more reason to be glad Ive quit watching.
25th-May-2014 09:37 am (UTC)
Wow - it's chinese whispers - changes with each telling.

This is the quote I've seen:

"I think the whole Dean and Cas thing got a little blown out of proportion." Crowd cheers. "Some of you know what I mean. They have a kindred spirit relationship; there is nothing more than that and certainly I don’t play that."

This has been confirmed by a number of sources.

So nope. Doesn't trash the friendship at all. In fact, confirms it the bond - which is evident in the show. Just confirmed that there's no romance. Which - er - I wouldn't have thought needed confirming. No idea why fans keep asking these guys about it. It's been made clear that they don't like it being constantly asked about it.

Jared's just having his solo panel and there are still questions. Apparently he's handled it all very well. :)
25th-May-2014 09:36 am (UTC)
My 2 cents worth on this:
I'm thinking from the beginning Carver wrote Sam as a brother who didn't look for Dean (S8) and now said he wouldn't have saved Dean under the same circumstances (in regards to what Dean did with the angel potion possession on Sam), and now it's the "big reveal" *gasp* that Sam decides to save Dean after all. Too bad Carver keeps forgetting there were 7 seasons of SPN brothers-always-save-each-other canon already before he started making it his own story. So people who have no doubt that both brothers would always save each other when the shit hits the fan can't make sense of what is going on, and many other fans seem happy to jump on board with the Sam-has-been-a-bad-brother wagon. Which has fuelled so much Sam hate.

What I hated in the finale was that everyone was constantly shutting Sam up. Either Dean or Castiel. Sam was like a stupid child, sidelined. Helpless mostly, nearly in the way. This is so not the Sam we know. The powerful hunter, the troubled but strong willed spirit. Often quiet but never stupid. *sigh*

Edited at 2014-05-25 09:37 am (UTC)
25th-May-2014 10:15 am (UTC)
On a side note: I really liked the opening this season with Gadreel possessing Sam. How Dean by now knew his decision is all kinds of wrong but just couldn't help himself. He knew he was being "selfish" in a way but there was this little bit of Sam that was willing to let Dean help him, too. He trusted Dean. It was a complex and amazing situation, and, at the time, I thought they would come up with an amazing solution, too, to mend this. So dissapointing to have nothing come from it. - Also I liked Metatron in the very beginning. How he was introduced. But everything went flat and now he is talking us and the SPN universe to death.

Sorry for the aditional venting. It's just that there was so much potential. I hope next season won't be all about Crowly's point of view. But hey, maybe Crowly and Metatron can talk each other into the ground, Demon!dean dies from boredom and is reborn human while Cas starts to drink demon blood to make up for the dwindling angel juice and becomes the next King of hell.. LOL excuse my Sunday brain. Just being silly here. ;)

xx
25th-May-2014 11:47 am (UTC)
I don't think you have to take Jared's interpretation as authoritative for the text, especially since he was altering the writers intention. I am angry at Jared, though. I understand that he is protective of Sam and Sam's reputation and that Sam -- and by extension Jared -- took a beating from fandom for the stand he took midseason. And I think that Jared genuinely has no clue why the noncon possession storyline was so profoundly upsetting to some (not that having no clue about that isn't in itself a problem). Nonetheless, I feel that he has reinforced some ideas about consent, autonomy, and how relationships work that I find deeply, genuinely harmful, and I have a real and commensurate loss of respect for him because of it.
25th-May-2014 11:55 am (UTC)
(I should add: I don't think it's necessarily hard to imagine why Watson-level Sam would be muddled here. It's just a point where I think Mr. Doyle needs to be held accountable.)
25th-May-2014 01:27 pm (UTC)
Well, that's disappointing. Jared, not Jensen.
25th-May-2014 02:29 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...isn't it tho. And ...er...it was you, yeah? that mentioned the "I lied" was referring to the caravan scene to me on tumblr? (sorry if not). But I think this confirms that the original dialogue was referring to that scene. Which..I'm not sure what to do with that.

I'm going with el1ie's interpretation above. ;)
x
25th-May-2014 02:28 pm (UTC)
I've enjoyed this season a lot, though grumpy about Kevin and now Gadreel. I have a crappy memory though, and have only time to watch things once, so I don't pick up on inconsistencies. I was just like, yep, just trying to protect each other and save each other, as always, yay!

25th-May-2014 02:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah - I read far too much into it all. And I suppose I think the writers ARE thinking about all those things too - but they really aren't. Dean allowing Sam to be possessed without his consent ended up not being and issue at all and that was massively disappoint. But yeah - by the end the broments were strong so we gotta be happy for that! :))
25th-May-2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
Carver has infected Jared with retcon disease.

My new mantra: I watch for the pretty!
26th-May-2014 12:38 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna try and watch for the pretty too! (hence new icon...)
25th-May-2014 07:19 pm (UTC)
That's interesting to know the original lines, which do make a lot more sense than the thrust of the ten episodes previously.

Still, I think the finale was some pretty slick playing both sides, because Sam doesn't at any point do anything that contradicts what he said. If you want to hear what Dean wants to hear, then you're happy with what Sam said; if you don't think that was a positive step for them then it's pretty apparent that Sam has very good reason to just say what it is he thinks Dean wants to hear rather than pick a fight with someone who has a giant hole in their chest.
26th-May-2014 12:58 pm (UTC)
Hey,

It was an interesting piece of info wasn't it. I really didn't know where to place it. Though it made more sense that they were referring to the conversation they had earlier in the episode. I was thinking if the writers hadn't dealt with it in the previous episodes it was unlikely they'd do anything now (something that became abundantly clear in 9.22).

I like that Sam didn't do anything that contradicts what he said. Originally I thought he had because I figured he was about to make a deal. It's since been pointed out that we don't know that for sure. I like that Sam could be seen as not choosing to fight in those final moments. His brother was dying and it's probably true that in those moments so much can be forgiven and forgotten (though I do hope they revisit what's happened this season - but I don't think they will).

25th-May-2014 10:09 pm (UTC)

My problem is with Jensen being homophobic and disrespectful of his fandom. And no, I'm not even a Destiel shipper. And yes, another huge problem I have with this is fans cheering Jensen as he repeated how Destiel was so blown out of proportion and not true, and him smiling, pleased, and saying it again and getting more cheers. This hurts me personally, would have hurt me from anybody, but from Jensen it hurts more, both because I love him and because I put so much effort into supporting his career and so forth. So - I have a problem with that.

I can't, I just can't get into that argument again, I'm steering clear of this as much as I can cause last time - I am still not over last time, and that was perhaps a year ago. But this is my problem with that, now you know.

25th-May-2014 11:09 pm (UTC)
Hey there. I am so sorry it has effected you this way. I haven't seen any footage or have seen the fans response. Just that he's told fans (after countless questions about it I imagine) that Cas and Dean aren't a romantic couple. I think it's a shame that he's HAD to say that (because it's clear that they aren't) - as I think it's a shame fans are constantly looking for verification. If they kept it all out of the cons the actors would never be put in this position. I thinks incredibly sad that Jensen and writers and anyone who says destiel doesn't exist is labelled homophobic.

But yeah, best for us not argue about it hun. I'm not sure what the underlying issues are so I'm sorry if I've said something to upset you.
25th-May-2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
Can anyone explain to me what the line, "I didn't think this was gonna happen," would've meant? Because I can't make heads or tails of it at the most literal level. What's the referent for "this"?

For whatever it's worth, here's what I got out of the "I lied" line. I don't think "same circumstances" in Sam's head was as narrow as "noncon angel possession," or as broad as "I wouldn't drive you to the hospital." Part of the audience, including me, was angry primarly about the bodily violation aspect of how Sam was resurrected, but I don't think that's primarily why Sam was angry. He repeatedly said he was angry because Dean resurrected him against his wishes, and that his resurrection led to somebody innocent getting hurt, just as he predicted it would in 9.01, which was explicitly why he gave Death the condition of "no resurrections" in that episode.

I think Sam is objectively correct within the universe of the show that resurrection-by-magic is a moral evil. That's supported both by every example of resurrection we've ever seen, and by "Appointment in Samarra," which makes it clear it's metaphysically impossible to cheat death without terrible consequences.

And I think the show thinks Sam's correct, both because his resurrection led to Kevin dying, which was pointedly brought up in the finale, and because the writers clearly tried--in a ham-handed and awkward way--to have Dean's death mirror what the show sees as the salient circumstances of Sam's death. Dean tells Sam the Mark is changing him in dangerous ways, which hits Sam over the head with the likelihood that a resurrection would lead to Bad Things, and then Dean dies saying, "I'm proud of us," which suggests he's at peace with what he's accomplished in his life, as Sam was in 9.01.

And yet Sam still tries to bring him back. From the show's perspective it doesn't really matter what Sam was planning to do when Crowley showed, because the sin is in getting back on the Winchester Resurrection Merry-Go-Round regardless of the means.

So yeah, Sam lied in the sense that he genuinely had a moral/philosophical belief that in the heat of the moment he realized he didn't have the strength to stick to. He's a hypocrite in the way that almost anyone would be a hypocrite when his brother is dying in his arms.

This probably sounds like I'm defending the way the season was written, and I'm really not. It was largely terrible in how it handled the possession story line, and largely terrible in general. I very much wish they'd noticed the rape subtext before filming 9.01, and then structured the season to deal with it in some meaningful way, or if that didn't interest them, chosen a different means of resurrection. As it stands, Dean does two morally bad things in 9.01--resurrect Sam and violate his bodily autonomy--and the show seems largely unaware of the second. But I do think it's aware of the first, and the finale doesn't read to me as an endorsement of Dean's behavior in 9.01.

26th-May-2014 01:20 pm (UTC)
Can anyone explain to me what the line, "I didn't think this was gonna happen," would've meant? Because I can't make heads or tails of it at the most literal level. What's the referent for "this"?

My reading would be that he didn't think Dean would lose to Metatron OR actually be stabbed by him. I think Sam would have gone in thinking they had this (especially with Gad and Cas working on breaking the tablet upstairs). Earlier he indicated to Dean that he was ok with him going in (though, he did say as long as they did it together).

And I agree with much of your reading on the "I lied". As much as I really wanted to believe that Sam was talking about they "way" Dean resurrected him, I think it was about the fact that he did it after he was ready to die and that Dean tricked him and then lied to him. There's a lot there to be angry about. The non con possession aspect has never been on the show's radar though (to be honest, I don't think they even considered it).

From the show's perspective it doesn't really matter what Sam was planning to do when Crowley showed, because the sin is in getting back on the Winchester Resurrection Merry-Go-Round regardless of the means.

And that, in many ways, is what made me so frustrated with the episode (and the season). I thought we were heading for some real growth and understanding by these characters but it seems it's not been about them understanding the bigger impact of what they are doing when they keep resurrecting each other.

Of course, it might just be that they are heading in that direction now - we won't know until next season I suppose. My first assumption was that Sam was prepared to make a deal to bring Dean back at the end of the episode. I know that would make sense for the Sam we know I suppose - but then again, this is the same Sam that decided not to even try to look for his brother after he disappeared at the end of S7. It makes me think that they really don't know which Sam they want to give us. I think what we DID see this season that Sam is prepared to stick by his brother's side no matter what. Dean hasn't exactly been great to Sam over S9 and yet, as angry as Sam was, he never left.

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