Somewhere on a pier/bridge in Iowa, Dean opens the back hatch of the Rabbit and peers in at the heads in a duffel bag, preparing to throw them into the water. Sam is leaning against the roof of the car, quietly brooding. Watching him, concerned, Dean leans on the hatch and asks what’s wrong.
Sam (Brooooody): Nothing.
Dean: That’s convincing. Did monster us give you the jeebs? Because I gotta be honest – I’m not looking in the mirror for awhile myself.
Sam (turning to face him, full of righteous indignation): Okay. You want to know what’s wrong?
Dean (quietly bracing himself, unsure, bravado in full force): You know my motto, here to help.
Sam: Kinda like you helped Amy?
Dean’s whole self pulls in. His face shuts down and he drops his arm from the car, looking at the ground. He tries to speak with a, “Listen, Sam—“
Sam: Don’t lie to me again. I can’t talk to you right now. (He grabs his backpacks from the car and starts to walk away, turning with the bags out to the side) I can’t even be around you right now. Go on without me.
Dean watches him go, his face closed off, his eyes raw. He says, very low, “Sorry, Sam.” And Sam storms off with his bags. Now, according to the previews, this separation doesn’t last, but I hope we see an actual discussion and at least an attempt at a resolution before we go into the next hunt we see in the previews.
While I was admittedly disappointed on Dean’s behalf that Sam walked away, I also totally understood it and saw it as very much in character for how Sam handles things like this. Sometimes, you have to get space to think things through. And he’s always been a bit dramatic – needs to work through the hurt he’s feeling before he can process what he knows and be able to really hear anything Dean has to say. ‘Cause if he can’t hear Dean, he can’t help Dean. Like I said, Amy’s just the tip of a rather large iceberg.
So while I was disappointed that once more, Sam stalked off when things got rough, I felt it was in line with Sam’s personality. In some ways, people don’t change. No matter how much crap they’ve lived through. Sometimes, people are how they are. And I say this next part simply as a personal observation of character and not as a judgment call (so please don’t throw things at me – you’re not obligated to feel the same way).
Sam’s ground is Sam first. Dean’s ground is everyone else first. Sam looks at things as how they affect him, what they mean to him. Dean looks at things as how they affect others. Neither way is very healthy; neither way is noble or right. Both ways can be seen as selfish depending on the situation. But because of that, regardless of who ‘wronged’ who, they are going to reacted the only way they know how.
I mean, Sam’s been in the wrong before…and he’s still left…and Dean’s gone after him. In this instance, Dean did the only thing he could do: he let Sam go.
No matter how much it gutted him to know Sam finally knew the truth – to know how Sam had to have found out — he wasn’t going to fight and rail and defend himself. He said he was sorry because he couldn’t let Sam go without at least that, but he also couldn’t bring himself to call out anything else, defend what he’s obviously felt increasingly guilty about: lying to Sam.
Not only that, he expects people to leave him. He expects Sam to leave him. It’s happened so many times before, it’s probably the biggest reason he couldn’t confess to Sam a long time ago. He’s been waiting for this to happen. It kinda breaks something inside, though, every time it does.
But, Dean knows his brother and knows Sam is going to see this as a ‘how could you do this to me’ situation first (understandably so) and not a ‘what was going on in your head’ situation. It may well come to that second situation, but not before Sam gets some of hurt out of his system. It’s just who they are. Sam leaves. And Dean goes after him (usually — the ‘I’m quitting hunting’ moment being an exception).
The way I hope this plays out is that Sam gets the space he needs and this time he comes back to Dean. It would go such a long way for Dean’s self-worth if Sam found him worth fighting it out about Amy. If Sam shared his hurt and disappointment and even betrayal and they found a way to slowly seek a balance – peeling away that one moment and exposing all the other things that are buried so deep they’re burning through Dean like…Borax. *wink*
Not only that, but it would show that Sam’s grown — that his words to Dean about every time he left his brother he was wrong were sincere. I get him walking off. Now I want him to come back, without Dean going after him.
I guess we’ll have to wait to find out. But even with the similarities to other episodes, and even with Sam walking away and breaking my heart for Dean, I enjoyed this latest chapter in their ongoing journey. And I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Now, where did I put that Air Supply cassette….
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