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curled around these images
just enough to make us dangerous
11.08 thinky and some pics 
5th-Dec-2015 12:56 pm
Geeking Out

The Birth of Sam-Fucking-Winchester

I've been trying to pinpoint what it was that made me love this episode so much. It could be the wonderful acting by all the secondary characters (Nate Torrence as Sully was perfection), the sensitive directing by Richard Speight, Jr. (gosh, I hope he directs again), the funny and emotional script by Jenny Klein, or just the fact that it was a Sam-centric episode. I'd say it was all of those things, but mostly I think it was because this episode took the time to explore Sam's current headspace and give us the first step he ever took to become Sam-Fucking-Winchester.

Let's be honest, we really haven't been given a lot recently about where Sam's head is at. I'm not entirely sure we've been given much of Dean's either. The show seems to be hesitant to give us these kind of episodes for some reason. S11 seems to be turning a bit of a page by allowing itself to stop and take a moment to actually give us some decent character insight and PoV.

It is very likely that I'm high on the episode purely for the reason that the show actually acknowledged Sam's past and connected to something that's currently problematic for him. In the last 3 years an episode like this would have been skipped. We would have just been given Sam doing whatever he's about to do (something "stupid" possibly) from Dean's PoV and without any insight into how hard it is for him. I am just so fucking thrilled that they allowed this episode to actually happen. No matter where they head with this storyline, at least they've acknowledged that Sam is conflicted, terrified and confused about what he thinks he has to do.

This episode was about Sam needing to let go of his securities to face feels he has to do now. It was about reminding himself that he can face his fears, he can right his wrongs and he can be a (flawed) hero. It was about the moment he shook of his childhood "Sammy" (clinging to an imaginary friend) to becoming "Sam Fucking Winchester". I bawled like a baby because it was about a 9 year old Sam growing up way before his time and an adult Sam thinking God is asking him to do something horrific.

I also cried because as this was Sam's pov I could see the flaws in his perception. The way he thinks is so sad (same with the way Dean thinks). Their persistent guilt and un-worthiness is mind numbingly sad at times. :(

Sam's Sully

Sully was such an interesting character. On the surface he was a bumbling, insecure but loveable "monster" (seemingly played for laughs at first). But there was a deeper side. He was also flawed. He had good, loving intentions, but he had made a mistake and got an innocent person killed. Which resulted in others being killed. Just like someone else we know yes?

We could see that Zanna are attracted to children like themselves (or perhaps they evolve into the type the friend their human needs). Children project their personalities on their personal friend - they also project their needs onto them. It wasn't explained in the episode, but I thought the ones we saw were a reflection of their human counterpart. In that respect, I think Sully represented Sam's inner thoughts and conflicts. As a child, Sully was Sam's little voice in his head "you don't really want this". We know, through canon, Sam really didn't want the hunting life. In this episode we saw that he chose the hunting life because his "imaginary" friend was merely childish imagination and therefore needed to be brushed off. As an adult, Sully became the little voice that told him he was doing ok. As this was Sam's PoV it's possibly somewhat unreliable. We're just seeing his perception. So Sully gave Sam just what he needed to hear to move forward and take control of the lump in his throat he mentions at the end. Sully, like Sam, is well intentioned, but flawed. *sobs some more*

We can't underestimate how important the casting (and directing) of Sully was in this episode. He could have become a caricatured "clown", but instead we had a level of depth that, quite frankly, made this episode. That scene between Sam and Sully when Sam apologies to him for leaving him was beautiful. I had tears. *applauds* (it was also reminiscent of the scene in Shadow when they were preparing to leave for the hunt and Sam telling Dean he'll go back to school when they find dad).

Dean, Dean, Dean

I am so very torn about Dean at the moment. On the one hand we see the return of the snarky, badass, funny Dean from the past but he still seems to be lacking something. I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's the way he's constantly brushing off Sam's visions (how many times now has he mentioned the visions? Like, almost every episode?), or maybe it's just him trying to find his feet again after the MoC. It's ironic to me that that after moaning about the lack of Sam PoV for the last 3 years, I'm suddenly craving Dean's. Why can't they give us both?! We can see that Dean's scared about Sam's visions and belief he has to go to the cage, but why can't they give us more from him about that? Just let him say more to Sam. Let him go beyond "no, you're not doing that". I have a feeling they are making Dean shut down Sam purely to drive Sam away and make him do something without telling Dean. We just know Sam doesn't accept "no" without a fight. And I would like that Dean would know that also. Until we get the same kind of insight into what going on for Dean we don't know why he's just blatantly shutting Sam off. I'd also love to see more about the after affects of the last 2 season. He almost killed his brother - so far that's not been dealt with. Unless seeing a the funny, cocky, grumpy, charming Dean back again IS them dealing with it? We'll see. I'm hopeful there's a lot more to come on that.

There was something very important that happened to Dean in this episode though. I actually liked the character arc for him. We know Dean has always had difficulty with anything "supernatural" (Benny is the only exception I can think of). It's consistent that he wouldn't be comfortable with Sully (or his kind), so it was quite significant that he accepted Sully as a "good" weird by the end. I might even stretch that to say he even saw a bit of Sam in Sully. By accepting Sully, he was accepting Sam - (I'm still not convinced Dean is over what he said to him in S9, or even his actions in S10). I'm not sure that was the intention of the writer, but it meant a lot that Dean acknowledged him.

And Dean didn't kill anyone (which I worried he might once he was free from the ropes), and was rather soften by the end. He realised that he wasn't always there for Sam (because seriously, how could he be?) but was grateful someone/thing was. I thought maybe during the final scene Dean was going to have a proper discussion with Sam about his visions and strange belief he has to go back to the cage, but it wasn't to be. I suspect it will become part of Sam's motivation for whatever's coming next (it reminds me of Hunted when Dean asked Sam for more time to work it out. Sam said he would then went off on his own to find answers). I'm not happy they are playing it that way (we've been here many times before), but that's the way they seem to like to play it.


Dean in the flashback worked for me because I think John would have called Dean away to hunt with him. I have ready many fanfics where this is the premise so it seemed very much part of my head-canon. Dean would have hated it, but the fact is that Dean can't always there for Sam. Especially when John gave an order. It's canon that Dean followed orders, so this was very much in keeping with that canon.

I appreciate the concerns (that I've been seeing around the place) that John also ordered Dean to "watch out for Sammy" and then dragged him away from Sam. I don't mind the contradiction because I think John was a mess of contradictions anyway. He'd expect Dean to look out for Sam, but he'd also except him to accompany him on a hunt if he needed him. He didn't think Sam was ready for hunting and yet left him along in a motel room. More evidence of the screwed up childhood the boys had.

The new wee!Sam worked for me also. No doubt Colin is a hard act to follow but this young actor was great (come on, you would have all loved him if he was the first ever wee!Sam). His eyes spoke volumes and he had the right feel. And, um, actually I think he's the Sam I always imagined when I read those fics years ago. I loved that scene on the bed between him and Sully (significant that Sully was on Dean's bed) and then later when he ditched Sully (reminded me of the scene in Shadow when they were packing to leave and Sam said he needed to move on once they found dad).


Even my fave eps have issues. ;)

I have no idea why Sam thinks he has to go back to the cage. He's prayed, he's had images of the cage and now he think God wants him to go back there? I just don't get why that would be his first thought. But ok. He's possibly had inner feelings about that. But how on earth does he think he's going to do it? Don't answer that!! It took a whole season for them to find a key to unlock it (horseman rings) so I am sure it will only take one episode for them to find a back door (Taxi Driver anyone?). It's weird that Sam and Dean are talking about it as though it's just a matter of popping down there. Even Dean hasn't said "it's not happening! Not just because I don't want you to do that, but we have no way of opening it anyway!".

Sam thinking Sully was imaginary at the age of nine is a stretch. I would think if Sully appeared to him after he knew about monsters it would have had him terrified. But, I can hand-wave it because I know Sully was a instrument to show us Sam's shedding of his childhood. And maybe Sam desperately needed someone like him then. *sniff*

So much for the bunker being impenetrable by supernatural beings.


According to the writer, Sully's rainbow braces were a shout-out to Mork (Robin Williams from Mork and Mindy). *cries*

The actress keeping a straight face with glitter blood all over her face. Loved that whole scene. *applauds*

Dean thinks families showering together is what keeps them together. He knows from experience I'd say.

Air guitar. *awesome*. Dean's "he's no Clapton" *even more awesome*

Boys in cardigans. <3 WITH Bert and Ernie reference. *ded*

And did you notice the wallpaper and the bed frames? They are the same as the episode we first saw the wee!chesters in Something Wicked. How awesome is that?! Note that the room dividers have changed from the bowling theme to a farmyard theme.






This episode is up there as one of my fave Sam-centric eps. My first is probably Mystery Spot, followed by When the Levee Breaks. It was able to do what those earlier episodes did with Sam - show us inside his head, rather than us having to second guess him.

Poll is posted here.
5th-Dec-2015 05:20 am (UTC)
Wonderful write-up. I so enjoyed this ep, and found our new wee!Sam broke my heart.
5th-Dec-2015 04:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And wee!Sam was indeed heartbreaking...
5th-Dec-2015 05:50 am (UTC)
I love your thoughts on Sully!
Every second of this episode had my attention and kept me entertained, which is a rare thing now. After all the demon angel drama where everyone's in boring suit, it's refreshing to see creatures in heavy make up and funny clothes. It's the first time in a long time that I've loved all the supporting characters in the episode. Sully is so funny, and I can watch him with the Winchesters forever. I love the new little Sam as well.

I think Sam may have to go back to the cage to take something out to battle darkness. However the story goes I'm excited :)
5th-Dec-2015 08:52 am (UTC)
They might need both archangels out of the Cage...
5th-Dec-2015 06:10 am (UTC)
I both loved and hated Sully's encouragement at the end, when he implied that he knew Sam would have the balls to do what is necessary--loved his validation of Sam's worth and strength--and hated it because it reinforced what Sam knows, that he's going to have to go to the Cage...and that is just going to be awful...
6th-Dec-2015 11:15 am (UTC)
Yes and Yes. It was great to hear Sam being validated (and reminded he has the strength), but it would have been more useful to hear that he shouldn't do something so dangerous and (to be honest) stupid. I actually thought Sully was going to talk him out of it. The fact that he didn't makes me think Sully was just confirming what Sam wanted (needed?) to hear. Messed up!
5th-Dec-2015 08:51 am (UTC)
I did notice the room! But then again, that wall is hard to forget...!

I really liked this young Sam, he was sensitive and could really act. Re: your point about him being 9 with an imaginary friend, I just assumed Sully had been around for years, so Sam's rejection felt right, timing-wise, to me anyway, regardless of the reason.

I am SO glad I'm not the only one mystified by Sam's instant conviction that he has to go back to the Cage, and that it's God telling him this. Why did he jump to that conclusion? Certainly there is no reason he should think that from any of the vision flashes or (very limited) dialogue we've been given.

I am actually finding it odd that Sam should suddenly be praying and have faith in God again - that has felt jarring to me as there's been nothing much in between Season 4 and now that makes me feel that Sam's faith has either wavered or been constant. I didn't think it had really been addressed at all. I don't know, maybe I wasn't watching closely enough.

But I did enjoy this one, it felt less ham-fisted about the messages it was giving us (and Sam), and the swing around from the MOTW to the Cage arc and the threat of the Darkness actually worked. So kudos to Richard and Jenny Klein for that.
6th-Dec-2015 11:22 am (UTC)
I just assumed Sully had been around for years, so Sam's rejection felt right, timing-wise, to me anyway, regardless of the reason.

Yeah. That would make sense. He could have been around since Sam was 6. Just popping in when Sam was lonely or needed him. The way Dean mentioned it, it was he was very familiar with Sam's imagining him. The rejection felt right to me also.

The praying thing is simply for the story telling I think. There's no really good reason why Sam would think God is around now when it hasn't been mentioned since S4 other than for this season's arc. But also, with them knowing there are demons and angels and heaven and hell, it makes some sense that he could believe in God. But it's a stretch to think that God wants him to return to the cage. More info on that would have been good (like maybe even a direct message or something). I have a feeling we are supposed to believe there have been many more visions - enough to make Sam believe they are a message. Maybe. ;)

5th-Dec-2015 10:51 am (UTC)
A thought: What if Lucifer is not only creating the visions but is also putting the thought in Sam's head that it is God who wants him back in the cage? It would be fittingly evil I'd say.

I loved reading your inspired thoughts and observations! ♥ Ahh, the love for the show when it becomes about family (and feelings) again!! \o/ :D

The feelings I was left with after the episode inspired me to a little photo editing. It depicts where Sam and Dean are at emotionally IMO. Sam is thinking about going back into the cage but is frantically searching for a way out of this- looking for his big brother for help, for answers. But Dean can't be found, is unconscious, blacked out, asleep, because he can't bare to even think about it all. (And so he shuts Sam down every time he mentions these things.)
(pic is made from two S11E01 screencaps from "home of the nutty")

5th-Dec-2015 11:38 am (UTC)
Oh, and:

The actress keeping a straight face with glitter blood all over her face. Loved that whole scene. *applauds*

One has to wonder how many takes were needed. Surely she must have cracked up more than once. It was such a bizzare scene. And I loved it, too! :D
5th-Dec-2015 11:43 am (UTC)
I can't get over the image of little nine-year-old Sam alone in a bus station. Those places are creepy! John taking Dean off to hunt and leaving Sam alone is believable, if terrible. I always sorta HOPED they left him with Bobby or Pastor Jim when this happened (or maybe left him in the car) but I can accept this...and CRY! I think your take on Sam growing up, banishing his imaginery friend (and yes, I agree he was there for years) is right on. Sam is facing his greatest fears right now, and he's being a real hero. I hope the rest of the season bears this out, because so far I really like it :)

Edited at 2015-12-05 11:44 am (UTC)
7th-Dec-2015 10:22 am (UTC)
All that exactly. It's so horrible to think about, but it does make some sense. Both boys have self worth issues and I think John leaving them alone for periods of time may have contributed to that. But also their resilience and strength. A bus station would have been scary, but Sam faced it and over the years has learned how to face his fears. It's this part of their story that makes SPN so compelling. The horror isn't just monsters, but what both Sam and Dean have had to endure in both their childhood and adult lives. *weeps*
5th-Dec-2015 12:26 pm (UTC)
problems 1.I would have preferred to have seen something a little more specific; was there a traumatic event that triggered Sully? If so what was it? 2.By the time we saw Sam and Sully, how long had the two been together? 3.I also didn't buy into the rejection scene. It just didn't ring true to me for some reason that I can't quite put my finger on. 4.Since when was Sam gun-ho about hunting? He was the one who wanted out. They alluded to that with Sully, and Sully seemed to be trying to encourage Sam, but Sam ditches Sully for the hunt? 5.it seems to be more of the role reversal between the brother's that they've been shoving down our throats since season 8. Apparently now Dean was the rebel who wanted 'normal' and Sam is the good soldier who ditches his friend for the hunt. I'm not liking this reversal at all, it smacks of bad retcon.
6.The child's need for an imaginary friend were not made clear at all. doting overly concerned parents who indulged her every wish. She needed an imaginary friend so that she could manipulate them? That was a very unflattering characterization. And the second little girl had a pool and a mother driving her to fun activities like gymnastics. So the need for the imaginary friend was inconsistent.7.Jenny Klein appears to be improving, but we still had the "brother knocked out and tied up" trope, though this time is was Dean, "boys split up and one of them gets into trouble as the other is lured into a trap" trope, and the "bad guy monologue" trope too. Basic episode writing 101. 8.Dean, Dean, Dean. You are getting on my very last nerve bud. He shut Sam down at every turn. He was unsupportive, rude and irritating as crap. He didn't take Sam's imaginary friend issue seriously at all, didn't use Sully's presence to better understand Sam or seem at all curious about why Sam needed an imaginary friend to begin with, and was rude to Sully and all the other Zanna even though all of them were doing good things and helping kids. And Dean's sudden reversal at the end of the episode the whole "you were there for my brother" stuff that helped to talk down the bad gal was not earned AT ALL. 9. We didn't see even one iota of what precipitated Dean's sudden change of heart which seemingly came out of the blue. 10. It was almost like they gave that speech to Jensen to give him something to do in an episode that was largely about Sam. It didn't ring true and was unsupported by Dean's behavior before that moment AND after it too. Dean's sudden change of heart lasted for all of about five minutes, because later in the car he was back to his normal stance saying "good talk" and shutting Sam down and not even listening to what he had to say nor offering any other solutions to the problems of the cage. Grrr. I know that they are laying the groundwork for Sam going off on his own, and for that I am grateful so that Sam isn't lambasted for "running away" as is usually is. But what I'd really like to see is the brothers working on this TOGETHER! And to do that Dean has to LISTEN to Sam and TALK about the problem instead of just avoiding everything like he usually does. Is it too much to ask that the boys actually have a conversation? Apparently it is. loved the Sam and Sully scenes.
5th-Dec-2015 12:33 pm (UTC)
this is from someone else who pointed out the problems i had with this episode.i hope i didnt put a damper on your joy for the episode. just wanted to list the problems and why i rated so low
5th-Dec-2015 02:26 pm (UTC)
The episode was awesome for all the reasons you mentioned. I love the farm motel divider. The picture over Sam's bed is one that has been used a lot.

ETA: This time we are seeing that wall in color. Kind of alarming colors in the SPN scheme of things.....

I think part of Dean's behavior is due to his connection with the Darkness but that's just speculation on my part.

There is so much in this episode to think about in how Sam has been in contact with the supernatural, benevolent and evil, since he was very small. How does his experience with Sully stack up with his Lucifer hallucination? One was real and he didn't know it and the other wasn't real and he couldn't really keep that straight until Cas took it away from him. I like that this episode added so much to what we know about Sam but stayed true to the character that has been built over 11 seasons. All the flashback stuff felt really plausible.

Edited at 2015-12-05 02:30 pm (UTC)
7th-Dec-2015 11:01 am (UTC)
I think part of Dean's behavior is due to his connection with the Darkness but that's just speculation on my part.

I would really love it to be that. I would love it to be something, not just a weird attempt to make Dean sassy and cutting for the sake of it.

Sam has been in contact with the supernatural, benevolent and evil, since he was very small.

Oh yes. I know in fanfic that would have freaked Dean out. Actually, I think it did freak Dean out. While he was away, a supernatural being was there with him. They were lucky (this time) that he was benevolent.

And how interesting that this is, once again, something that plays with Sam's mind. The notion of imaginary and real must be so damn hard for Sam. I love that the writer chose this avenue to explore Sam's fears.

5th-Dec-2015 02:52 pm (UTC)
I think I agree with every single thing you said. Yeah. So wonderful to have a Sam-centric, Sam-POV episode again (is that two in the same half-season?), but I also liked Dean's turn-around within the episode regarding Sully.

I'm thinking this is the first episode in eleven-and-a-half years where no humans died. Could that be true?
6th-Dec-2015 10:24 pm (UTC)
You might be right!

On the other hand...SPARKLES!!NOOOO!
5th-Dec-2015 03:12 pm (UTC)
As always, you seem to hit on so many of the things I'm thinking and summarize the episodes so well.mjust a few of my own thoughts.

Like I have said before, I'm really enjoying this season's take on Sam, and that is coming from someone who tends to lean more towards being a Dean-girl. I too struggle with what they're doing (or lack thereof) with Dean. It's like they can't find a balance to focus on both in the same season. I'd like to think there's going to be some pay off in the end as if the Mark of Cain has affected Dean in someway. But given what has happened in the last two seasons I have no confidence in that at all.

I had trepidation going into this episode because I thought an imaginary friend seemed kind of hokey to me in the context of everything else going on this season. But it was played so beautifully and heartbreakingly. The fact that Sully kept watch over Sam, knew he saved the world and reminded him of that. That Sam doesn't remember that and only focuses on how he screws up ( as does Dean) is so sad. I think the burden of that might be heavier at times than than their constant duty to save the world.

In terms of going to the Cage, there may be a small possibility of something mentioned once before. In Clap Your Hands If You Belive, the leprechaun mentioned that he had the magic to get Sam's soul out of the Cage. He could've been lying, he could've been referring to only retrieving Sam's soul and not actually getting into the Cage and of course these writers often don't pay attention to what's been done in canon before. But it was just a thought I had, since fairies have been a part of the show.

As someone mentioned above, I think it would be great if they needed both Michael and Lucifer. They would be one of the handful of angels I wouldn't mind seeing. It would be refreshing. And it has the potential to put both the current crop of angels and Crowley (who also has become tiresome to me), either in their place or wake them up from mind numbing existence they seem to have these days.

Loved the sweaters. The need to find more reasons for the boys to wear those. Surely there monsters on a university campus that could use a professor doing some research for a book rather an FBI agent, yes?
6th-Dec-2015 10:25 pm (UTC)
Do you remember Everybody Hates Hitler? Sam in a sweater vest...yummy.
5th-Dec-2015 09:39 pm (UTC)
Such an insightful and thinky thought post - I loved it, and everything you said.

The new wee!Sam worked for me; it was the twinkly eyes I think, grown up Sam definitely has those damp and emotion-filled eyes. Solid acting, and truly heartbreaking seeing the moment he pushed away his innocence and childhood *sob*

I think Sam thinking that he's been told to visit the cage works for me. I'm not sure I can explain it, but I think as soon as I realised they were hinting at the cage, and it was Sam who was seeing it, it's a logical step for him to go there. And I'm sure getting there won't be a problem; Crowley, surely (how awesome would it be to see Alistair again too! That won't happen, but I'd love to see it.)

Is Sam going to cage? They're heavily hinting at it, but maybe Dean's denial and refusal to accept it means he's going to go. Sam's not going, Sam shouldn't worry, because Dean's going to go (I don't want that, but I can see Dean thinking that.)

I love the prop pick up too - I missed that! Thank you for sharing this wonderful post :)
8th-Dec-2015 09:31 am (UTC)

It would be SO cool to see Alistair again! I would certainly love to see him return. It would be interesting to see both Sam and Dean haunted by their times in Hell. I don't think they will either, but it's an interesting thought.

And your idea that Dean might be the one to go instead of Sam is interesting too. It's so hard to know what Dean is thinking in terms of Sam's visions. I get that he would be scared, but maybe he is considering going their instead of Sam (I think if he had the option he'd definitely do that. Anything to stop Sam going their again). I'm equal part excited and terrified of the next episode. I really hope they don't blow the potential of this. The writers doing the ep don't instil confidence in me, but I will remain hopeful until I see it. :))

6th-Dec-2015 02:31 pm (UTC)
Ahh, this epi was so, so wonderful. It was insightful and sensitive and funny and sad at the same time. Sully was such a great character. I loved how he tried to take care of Sam, asking him how he's doing, telling him he's a hero. Sam needs to hear that, cos yes, he, just like Dean, is weighed down by his guilt and low self-worth... And Sully thanking Dean for taking care of Sam was wonderul, too. Dean needs to hear that he's a good brother to Sam, that he did well.
The moment where Sully asked Sam if he ever thought about running away anymore was a key moment for me. This is Sam's life, and even if it's difficult and dangerous, he's Sam Fucking Winchester and he'll stand up to the occasion no matter what.

On that note, I loved that we saw that little Sammy wanted to hunt with his dad and Dean. It has been my headcanon for quite a while now that Sam felt excluded by realizing that John and Dean had secrets he didn't know about (they didn't tell him about the life till he was 8, for example) and that was a big factor why he felt like a freak, or unclean, and why he wanted out of the life. It was nice to see that, even as a kid, he very much embraced the life when he was given a chance to participate in it.

Sam being left alone in the motel wasn't nice, but like you, I can imagine John doing that. And Dean would go along with that. He was still a kid, only 13 at the time, and would do what his dad told him. Also, he was left alone fending for himself and Sam at a similar age in Something Wicked, so why would he think Sam couldn't take care of himself?

I liked Dean in this epi. And I get why he brushes off Sam's visions and why he acted like he did when Sam told him he might need to go into the cage: He's scared for Sam, and that's the typical Dean Winchester defense mechanism - denial. But his voice when he told Sam that they'll find another way was so soft, that the concerned big brother Dean shone trhough. I recognised my favourite Dean again, and I loved that very much.
8th-Dec-2015 09:36 am (UTC)

Yes to all you said. So much of Sam's back story worked for me (I know it didn't for some), I think because of my own personal head canon of that time in his life. I don't think he'd be left alone all that often (only on emergencies), but I think it was going to happen more and more, so it makes sense that they then want him with them (I picture Dean begging John to let Sam come - even if it just meant staying in the car).

And I agree that Dean brushes of the Sam's visions because he is scared. I get annoyed by the hypocrisy sometimes - Dean telling Sam off for keeping secrets and then when Sam tells him something he shuts him down. I know that's Dean, but it can be frustrating. Big Brother Dean is always my fave Dean and him saying "we'll find another way, we always do" was very much in keeping for Dean.

It's been an interesting season so far. :)
6th-Dec-2015 09:08 pm (UTC)
The ep was great!! I think that the concept of imaginary friends is something that needed to be dealt with carefully as to not have it turn out too childish, but the ep did it just right. I loved to see the flashbacks on how Sam felt about hunting, and how tied to his family and own feelings of wanting to help and prove himself it all was.

I thought maybe during the final scene Dean was going to have a proper discussion with Sam about his visions and strange belief he has to go back to the cage, but it wasn't to be.

I think the lack of answer about what the other way might be spoke volumes. It would be important for the boys to actually discuss their gameplan, but Dean's saying 'no' out of fear because he still needs to get over it. It would be cool and symmetrical if we could see Sam facing his fears and then have Dean do the same during the season.
8th-Dec-2015 09:40 am (UTC)
I agree it was a great ep!

It would be cool and symmetrical if we could see Sam facing his fears and then have Dean do the same during the season.

Yeah. Dean certainly has some fears he needs to face also - I'm especially hoping for more on him post MoC. I think as we've had quite a big focus on Sam in the first half of the season we'll get more from Dean in the second half. That seems to be the way they do it - though I hope they don't just suddenly ditch one storyline and change directions completely. They seem to be heading toward something quite monumental - which is interesting considering it's only the mid-season finale.
6th-Dec-2015 10:32 pm (UTC)
This was one of the only episodes I thoroughly enjoyed enough. And a rewatch! I've done perhaps two rewatches this season. The second time I ff'ed past the childhood parts and it really made me cry.

The problems I had with Sam's childhood is that we were given to understand that he was dragged along with the family and that Dean was in charge over him at all times. Which makes him so wildly needy of Sam. I simply didn't buy, 'gee, they want me, buh-bye!' and off to catch the bus. I didn't buy him being left by himself in a motel. Maybe he was, but I didn't buy it.

As long as I left out the childhood scenes, the rest of it was so funny and touching. Dean was hilarious, from doing karate at Sully to his various reactions to the glittery unicorn blood on the mother's face (PRICELESS!), and "he's no Clapton." Oh, Dean, you always have to have the last word.

ETA: Nate Torrence as Sully was better than great!!! I hope they find a way to bring him back, even though it has to be another character.

As a Sam lover, I was happy to watch Sam's POV. Season 9 made the biggest mistake that way, in my opinion. We really didn't get a chance to explore his feelings about being possessed by Gadreel and Dean's betrayal. Partly because Dean was being such a loud damn martyr and shutting Sam down at every opportunity. Maybe that's what people are missing this season. Dean walking around loudly blaming himself for everything.

Edited at 2015-12-06 10:33 pm (UTC)
8th-Dec-2015 09:50 am (UTC)
I totally understand people not liking the wee!Sam scenes. They worked for me simply because I've had this kind of head canon for years. In previous flashbacks we've had (Xmas ep and Something Wicked) Dean did leave Sam. Sure , it was only briefly, he did leave Sam alone for a few hours.

I don't think it came out of the blue that once Sam knew about the world out there he started to train as a hunter. I thought a comment above really hit it on the head in terms of Sam being hung-hoh about hunting (when we know he never wanted it). At that point Sam only had an "idea" of what hunting might be like - at that age it may well have seemed cool. He always looked up to Dean so he'd want to be doing what his big brother was going. I imagine him desperately wanting to be accepted and when they finally invited him along - he was there. It wasn't until he truly understood how horrible hunting was, that he changed his mind.

I have to say, I certainly don't miss Dean blaming himself for everything. S9 Dean was very difficult for me to handle (the whole damn season was difficult for me to handle) - so I am much happier with this Dean over the one we've been seeing for a while now. He had some great one liners, that's for sure. :)
7th-Dec-2015 05:35 pm (UTC)
Honestly, ditto ditto ditto to everything here. You summed up most of my thoughts perfectly. Especially this:

I have no idea why Sam thinks he has to go back to the cage. He's prayed, he's had images of the cage and now he think God wants him to go back there? I just don't get why that would be his first thought. But ok. He's possibly had inner feelings about that. But how on earth does he think he's going to do it? Don't answer that!! It took a whole season for them to find a key to unlock it (horseman rings) so I am sure it will only take one episode for them to find a back door (Taxi Driver anyone?). It's weird that Sam and Dean are talking about it as though it's just a matter of popping down there. Even Dean hasn't said "it's not happening! Not just because I don't want you to do that, but we have no way of opening it anyway!".

Reading some of the comments here, it had crossed my mind that someone might be trying to trick Sam and get him stuck in the Cage? I'd really hope not. As soon as they started talking about Sam going back to the Cage in the episode, I got a little freaked out. I was really hoping they wouldn't end up doing another Swan Song. But now I'm not so sure. I was reading an interview J2 did about the mid-season finale, and something Jared said (I won't say it here out of respect for anyone avoiding spoilers) makes me think that won't be the case...maybe? I'm thinking this Cage thing might be addressed quickly (as in one episode, like you mentioned above). And I don't think I can say anymore without it drifting into spoiler territory, so I'll leave it at that. ;)

Edited at 2015-12-07 05:36 pm (UTC)
7th-Dec-2015 07:48 pm (UTC)
Plz spoil me? ;) i. Hoping all this cage talk is just a red herring
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