Hearing the shot, Dean’s bellow of “SAM!” is audible from a distance. He says it again as the three of them come running up and then he skids to a shocked halt when he sees Samuel’s body. Bobby comes running up next and sees Sam and whispers a truly heartfelt, “Oh, thank God.”
I swear I got a smidge choked up at that—the complete relief in Bobby’s voice that Sam was okay. After going through so much with this kid since that day in Stull cemetery—keeping the painful secret of his return, struggling with him being soulless, nearly being killed by him, and having to work to accept him as Sam once again when he got his soul back—I was worried the connection would never come back.
But it did, and we heard it in those three words.
Then…Bobby and Rufus saw Samuel’s body. Bobby tells Sam to drop his gun; Sam crouches slowly and sets the gun down, saying that it’s really him. Rufus is like, yeah, okay, then you won’t mind if we cuff you until we find out for sure. Dean is still staring at Samuel, swallowing hard. Rufus puts a zip-tie on Sam’s wrists (behind his back). Sam insists that the monster thing is in Samuel. Bobby is like, are you sure? Rufus asks if he saw anything come out of him after he dropped. Sam’s like, um….
Dean is staring at Sam almost like he’s desperate to believe, but has been through so much—seen so many sides of his brother—he’s not really sure. Sam is staring back with an uber-earnest please believe me expression.
And…it was at this moment I knew that Bobby would kill Rufus. I wasn’t sure why, but Dean had taken a life while possessed, and Sam had taken a possessed life—to follow the pattern, and because I felt there was no way they would kill Bobby off at this point, I knew Bobby would kill his friend. Which just made me all that much more tense as I continued to watch.
They take Samuel’s body to…some other room and lay it on a table. They swab his ear—no goo. Sam looks devastated for a moment.
Sam: Are you saying he wasn’t a monster when I ganked him?
Bobby looks apologetically up at Sam.
Rufus: One way to find out. Bobby, you got a cranial saw in your car?
HAHAHAHA! Of course. HA! Who doesn’t? I have three! *laughs*
Dean: You’re not going alone.
Rufus: Oh, no. He won’t. We’ll go together, get some tools, get some power on in this place. (Turning to the boys) I want you and you…. (He frowns) I want you and you to watch him and him…. If anything crawls out of anybody, step on it.
Sam: Don’t worry. I’ll watch Samuel. Dean’ll watch me.
Rufus and Bobby leave and Sam starts circling the table, looking down at Samuel. Dean is at the foot of the table, hands in his jeans pockets (YUM), chin down, eyes up on Sam.
Dean: You did the right thing.
Sam: You mean you think I did. If it’s in him and I’m me…this thing’s playing Three Card Monte with us.
Dean: I’m just gonna assume you’re you.
Sam (indicating his bound arms): You wanna take this off then?
Dean: Not until we get that sucker out….
Sam (looking sad and very young): I can barely remember him and what I do remember, it’s not good. But….
Dean: There’s a ‘but’?
Sam (moving closer to Dean—and making me inexplicably nervous): I can’t help but think…what would mom say?
Dean sits with that a moment, then looks at his brother and his face is suddenly ageless. The tiny lines around his eyes seem to deepen while the rest of his face smoothes and his eyes are full and serious.
Dean: She’s say, just ‘cause you’re blood, doesn’t make you family. You gotta earn that.
I swear to you, my heart bounced off my toes at those words. Some of you know I have been going through some family trials with one of my sisters. In an exchange between us months ago—way back in September—that was my argument. You don’t carry around a ‘get out of jail free’ card just because you share DNA. The word ‘family’ isn’t synonymous with automatic atonement and forgiveness.
At least it isn’t for me. Not anymore. I have friends who are more my family than some of my blood relatives are family. Because they’ve earned it.
And to hear that from Dean lit me up inside a bit. Putting it in context with the moment, though, and the way he was looking at Sam, I think he was saying, You have…he didn’t. He was absolving Sam of any familial wrong-doing—no matter what they found inside Samuel’s noggin.
As he’s finished talking, the lights in the room come on and Bobby and Rufus return. Bobby tells the boys to take a breather. Dean’s all we’re good, but Bobby insists—seeing as how they’re about to cut into their grandfather’s grapefruit and all. The boys exchange a look and reluctantly head out of the room.
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