Recap: Supernatural, Episode 7.17 – The Born-Again Identity

From my perspective, they did a great job bringing Cas back – Misha was excellent in how he played Emmanuel sans Cas memories – and I think that where he was left at the end of the episode solves one problem in a way I could accept and creates a new one I can’t wait to see how it plays out. The only trepidation I had about Cas coming back right when Sam was totally losing it was the same thing that had always irked me when he was around before – he healed them. With a quick fix.

But this time? I was ready for that quick fix (not that it was quick, but I’ll get to that). I needed Sam to be better. One more episode of Broken!Sam might’ve sunk me – and not from the omg Sam’s getting too much attention angle. From the I don’t want to have to bear Sam’s torture anymore angle. We’ve talked in comments for previous episodes about the odd appeal of hurt/comfort. But for me? The hurt that Sam was going through was not appealing; he made me want to protect him, mother him. There was nothing toe-curling about it. I wanted to cry, look away, fast-forward through his scenes.

You can take that as you wish.

It wasn’t that I was disinterested in what was happening to him; on the contrary. It was simply too much for too long and by the time the healing came I felt such a relief that it was finally all over and things can move forward for our boys that I didn’t care about the angelic aspect of it. So, whether it was always planned to have Cas return to fix what he’d broken, or if it was due to “fan input” when Cas ‘died,’ I don’t really care. I like the character and was happy to see him again; I also thought it was a believable way to fix Sam, and I’m SO glad it’s done.

The thing I find the most heartbreaking about the course of this story (the overall story, not just the episode) is the role Dean’s been forced into. Like that line from the Kansas song, it’s all a charade, and I don’t know that he even sees it. He’s “getting over it,” “shaking it off,” whatever “it” is – even the thing he didn’t think he could get past? For the sake of Sam, he does. He just steps right over that big ol’ black line he hadn’t been able to cross and says please save my brother with his whole being.

And I really don’t know where he’s going to take it – where the writers are going to have him go with it. A continued upward trajectory of ‘dealing with it’ until he breaks from the strain? Or just…dealing with it, period? I want to see it get to him, all of this loss, all of this having to shake it off, all of this fear and worry and protection that turns him inside out and is only numbed through alcohol.  I want it to get to him, for him to look at it, wrestle it to the ground, defeat it, and emerge stronger for it. *shrug* We’ll see….

*shakes self* Onward, yes?

THEN, Cas broke Sam’s brain, Sam isn’t sleeping, and Lucifer is Sam’s bestie. NOW, the umbrella that contained all of Sam’s ‘crazy’ has blown away and he’s stumbling down some railroad tracks, behind graffitied warehouses, in the ghetto, running from Lucifer and other people who may or may not be there. He doesn’t even look like Sam, really. It’s like watching a scene from The Basketball Diaries.

He stumbles into an alley and a tweeker there is all get the hell outta here, but Sam says no one is after him. No one real, anyway. Lucifer is there, taunting him, mentioning that Sam ran away after Dean passed out (and I couldn’t understand all of what he said, but I thought I heard something that made me think the two of them had been drinking and Dean fell asleep, but Sam didn’t).

Lucifer: You’d be sleeping now if the Devil would leave you alone. Stupid Satan….

Sam is grinding the heels of his hands into his eyes and pressing his palms against his temples saying he just needs some rest. This whole scene made me check my own disconnect of what Sam’s going through. I have been viewing it through a disassociated lens because 1) it’s a supernatural affliction brought on by Hell and a broken “wall” and 2) he was able to ‘handle’ it using his scar and we didn’t see much of it all for several episodes.

But as some who read this ramble know intimately, this is very real for some people. And maybe it is the Devil speaking to them, keeping them awake, pushing them to do things they don’t want to do. It honestly took until this episode for that point to take root for me. Perhaps because of who it was happening to, but also because of why it had happened in the first place. In a reply to a comment I said something about war triggering very similar maladies in some soldiers; that helped me find a way to relate to what this character was dealing with.

Anyway, the tweeker asks Sam how many days he’s been up and Lucifer answers that this is day five. The tweeker offers Sam a way to knock out (and that’s how we know it’s Gotten Really Bad) and next thing we know, Sam’s in the front seat of the tweeker’s beat up (parked) car, nodding off while the tweeker is passed out behind the wheel. The sound of shattering glass jolts Sam awake and he stumbles out of the car to stare in horror at a large metal pipe shoved through the front windshield – only, no, wait, just kidding! It’s not really there. Lucifer is next to Sam and starts singing again.

Sam stumbles away and Lucifer tells him that his taking pills is just “bringing free drugs to the party” because he’s inside Sam. Sam is staggering away from Lucifer as Luci tells him the longest a ‘normal’ person has gone without sleep is 11 days and hasn’t he always wanted to be normal? Sam’s pale, panting, eyes bruised and bugging out to stay conscious. He’s totally a mess. He’s running to get away from Luci…and runs directly into traffic, getting hit by a car.

Not. Good.

Gaelicspirit

Gaelicspirit is a storyteller. She is a recent addition to Whedonverse Network, but has been writing and posting recap/reviews of Supernatural on LiveJournal since 2007. She works as a freelance writer and consultant in the real world, and is ever-connected to the six-degrees of Joss Whedon.

Gaelicspirit

Gaelicspirit is a storyteller. She is a recent addition to Whedonverse Network, but has been writing and posting recap/reviews of Supernatural on LiveJournal since 2007. She works as a freelance writer and consultant in the real world, and is ever-connected to the six-degrees of Joss Whedon.

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