I’ve just about given up trying to figure out the way they’re writing a person without a soul. When I’d review the show in previous seasons, I’d look through Sam’s eyes and think about things he’d had to deal with—like having to live a life he never really wanted because others told him he had to. I knew what it was like to want to break free of my past, of my family. I knew what it was like to live with my heart on my sleeve. There were ways I could find to relate to Sam and connect with his choices. Even when I didn’t understand them. Even when they scared me. I could see his path and sympathize with him.
But this season, it’s been pretty much impossible for me to employ my usual “understand Sam” tactics. It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to be the hollow man surrounded by those who care. He said he remembered what he was like before, but he no longer feels any of that. I ended up likening it to childbirth. Go with me for a minute. I remember that it hurt—a lot. I had an emergency C-section, but had gone into labor. NONE of that was fun. But…I don’t remember exactly how it felt. I just know that I did feel it.
That helped me go with it for a few episodes. But that analogy only works in retrospect because even though I know how bad it felt, if I were able to, I wouldn’t let the remembered pain of it stop me from having another baby. Because I know I’d forget it. Sam…he doesn’t have that reassurance. His pain will be constant because it’s the pain that comes with being human. We are conditioned to live with it because we always have. But he’s been without it for quite some time now. And whether or not he currently cares about anyone or anything, going back to that pain—and the new promise of being squashed by an irrevocably damaged soul—is understandably unappealing.
What I can’t get around is how he fluctuates so widely. He’s not consistent in my eyes, as I personally interpret one who doesn’t care would act. The cold, heartless actions like allowing Dean to be turned by a vamp and bedding the hippie chic while Dean was missing clash harshly against his frantic search for Dean in Monster GITMO and beating the vamps off of him as well as the quiet look of betrayal when his Grandfather wouldn’t help them. I just struggle with giving Sam the benefit of the doubt for any reason other than he’s Dean’s brother. And…he was someone I used to know.
If he doesn’t get his soul back, who will he continue to evolve into? Will he be someone I can like? Will he be someone I care about? Will he be someone whose very presence around my hero hurts my heart? And…if he does get his soul back, will he really be Sam? Even if they can figure out a way to heal the damage, will his soul “remember” it and how will those memories mesh with the ones he’s currently creating as a hollow man?
The bottom line is, for me, the Sam I knew, the Sam I cared about, and the Sam I found reasons to love is gone. And he’s not coming back. He can’t, not the way they’ve set it up. Unless they actually pull God into the mix and wave a magic miracle wand to make it all better.
And I honestly don’t know how I feel about all that yet. I’ll figure it out, but I have to process a bit. One thing I’m wondering, though…if someone who doesn’t have a soul dies…would they go to Purgatory? And if so…do you think TPTB would dare go there? *hopes not*
And now, for the constant.
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