Supernatural Journey: Episode 6.01 Stream of Consciousness

It’s been a long summer, but finally Supernatural is back on the air!  We pick up a year after the horrific events of the season five finale.  Dean has given up hunting and is living with Lisa (Cindy Sampson) and her son Ben (Nicholas Elia).  Mysteriously freed from his cage in hell, Sam finds Dean and tells him he needs to rejoin the fight and introduces Dean to a world-a family-he never even knew existed: the Campbells, lead by none other than their maternal Grandfather Samuel (Pileggi). 

Gaelic’s Ramble: I think I’m really going to like this season. Not that I haven’t really liked all the other seasons as well for various reasons.

But this one…it’s gonna be different. We have to watch it differently. And this is one of those instances where I think—if we let it—change can be really good.

I had to actually stop and remind myself that this wasn’t the same storyline, that while we’d been left with a cliffie, it wasn’t one that held the fate of the world in question. I had to remind myself to be patient. And it paid off.

The episode was like a slow building song: one that begins with a humming whisper and works its way up to a crescendo of rhythm that rocks you from the inside out. I felt almost awkward around the character that had been my hero for over five years now—that I’ve felt a kinship with unlike any other fictional character before him. I had to almost…find him again at first.

I was relatively unspoiled as I sat down to watch tonight, having learned only that a year had passed, and then earlier today I saw a picture on my LiveJournal friend list of Grandpa Campbell, so…I knew Skinner was back. But the rest of it was an eye-blinking surprise. And also one reason I had to look for my Dean inside the person we glimpsed at the beginning.

As I go through my standard recap, I’ll get to why I am sitting with my current thought process, but just to set the stage a bit, I like that we have two very different people in our favorite brothers this season. They’ve been through too much—died, gone to Hell, come back, died again, gone to Heaven, come back, traveled through time, overcome addiction, survived PTSD, seen almost every one they’ve ever loved die (for real), saved the world—to have been the same ‘bitch/jerk’ brothers we grew to love.

It’s sad that we don’t have that anymore; it is. But it’s also good because we get a chance to find them all over again. And,maybe, to fall in love all over again. We get to see them grow and change as people do when time leaves it’s footprints on your body and soul.

I know there’s chatter—endless debates, actually—about who was the focal point (which brother) and why throughout the different seasons. I know there are very strong opinions from some of the fan contingents; I actually had a conversation recently with a fan of the show who said that she felt the focus of the first four seasons was mainly on Sam’s story. He was the reason for the main arc of the story and Dean was essentially there as his protector.

It wasn’t as if Dean didn’t have his own importance, but it was like…with Star Wars. Han is just as much of a hero as Luke, but the story (at least in the original trilogy) is about Luke and his journey. He wouldn’t have survived without Han, but the fact of the matter is, it was his story. Same analogy was true of this fan’s argument about Sam. It wasn’t until season 5 and Dean’s destiny as Michael’s vessel was revealed that Dean actually had skin in the game. He was pivotal to how things were going to turn out.

That resonated with me. I purposely don’t put a lot of thought into it—for one, because it takes too much energy and who is going to listen to me anyway, but for another I just like to watch the story and enjoy what I see—but her reasoning made sense to me.

Now, though, we don’t seem to have one single pivot. We have two brothers who have come together after two very different years and with some pretty deep scars that they gathered without each other present to witness the wounds. It really doesn’t appear (to me, at least) like we’re going to be faced with an “it’s Sam’s story and Dean’s his protector” or “it’s Dean’s story and Sam’s in the shadows” conundrum.

It’s now about two brothers with a deep history and a long way to go to heal and a brand new mess on their hands…and I gotta say…I dig that.

Okay, so, that said, if you don’t hate me and want to keep reading, let’s jump into the episode.

We get a quick flash-reminder of all that went down in Stull and Sam’s voice-over demanding that Dean promise him to live the apple-pie life before we’re thrust into said apple-pie life with Bob Segar’s throaty growl lamenting that the Beautiful Loser “just can’t have it all.” It’s a very well-done slice of then and now, with what we could almost suspect were Dean’s memories of salting and burning overlaid with using (way too much) salt in the eggs he fixed for Ben’s breakfast.

Or a flashback of prying open a coffin as he pries off a board at his construction site job. Or teaching Ben about an engine (of a pick-up, not our Impala) as he remembers teaching Sam so long ago. It was…no, he was…sad. Not depressed or melancholy or weeping. But sad. Accepting, surrendering, but sad. He moved around the house at night in athletic pants and a T-shirt (looking more like Jensen than Dean) and checked the windows and doors. He peeked in on Ben. And he climbed into bed with Lisa, allowing her to drape sleepily across him.

But then…I found him again. My hero, hidden in this man.

As his hand dropped off the side of the mattress, just beyond the reach of his fingertips, we see a sawed-off and a jar of Holy Water. And I was suddenly okay with everything we’d just seen him do. It fit. It was right because of where he’d been and how he was living.

*Gaelic takes a breath*

The opening this year is shattered glass. How appropriate.

Dean—shirt tucked into his waistband enough that we see his belt, which was odd for me—is sitting at a table in a local bar called Jonesy’s with Sid, his neighbor. Sid is probing for more information about the guy he’s been buying a beer for about a year now. Dean is reticent to give up the details, though, saying simply that he used to travel a lot. That he was in the pest control business, and it was good. He got to work with a partner, got to help people.

“You have no idea what’s in some people’s walls. It could eat them alive.”

Oh, the subtle humor for those in the know.

A dark-haired waitress brings them their bill, touching Dean’s arm suggestively as she leaves. He shows Sid that he got digits and says, basically, that he’s unavailable. Parting ways with Sid, Dean heads to his pick-up (gah!) when he hears a scream. Grabbing a weapon from under the truck seat and a flashlight, he heads into an abandoned building to investigate, face more tense and afraid than bad-ass and ready.

He moves through hanging plastic and empty halls, startled by a bird (that also scared me to death, I’ll admit) and almost turns away when he suddenly sees scratch marks on a wall with a bloody handprint. Finding nothing else, he leaves, but we see that he’s done a computer search and is on the phone with a cop asking about missing persons. He has used one of his old fake personas, apparently, as we hear him say, “Just been a cop for a lotta years.”

Lisa comes down and says it’s late, wants to know what he’s doing. He lies to her, says he’s setting up a poker game, and would be up shortly. She accepts this rather quickly and turns to head upstairs. This time when he checks the windows and doors, he’s in jeans and bare feet (sorry…shallow moment…YUM) and lifts up the rug in the entry way to expose a Devil’s Trap.

At that point I wondered how much Lisa knew about his little pieces of tucked-away protection. He may have been forced into domestication via a promise he made to his brother, but you can’t change who you were born to be. And he’s lived about 32 years as a hunter. Pick-up truck-driving construction worker or not, you don’t shake that.

Next day he’s heading to work and he sees the scratch marks on a light post outside a house. Grabbing his weapon, he heads to check it out, seeing cuts through clothes hanging on a line and then on the door of a shed. Looking extremely anxious about what he was going to do, he kicks the door open to reveal…a Yorkie.

Sid the neighbor sees this—and his gun—and is basically like, what the hell? Dean makes up an excuse about thinking the Yorkie was an opossum and that they had rabies when he sees sulfur on the floor of the shed. Crap. He hastily makes an excuse and heads to Lisa’s garage, grabbing a duffel and moving over to a canvass covered…IMPALA! Hello, Baby!

He starts packing up weapons, but hears something and moves over to his (rather impressive) tool box. Lisa comes in and he’s all, “Just getting a hammer….”

Lisa leans in the doorway. “Did you just almost shoot a Yorkie?”

Dean stands with the hammer in his hand and looks totally guilty as he replies, “Technically.”

He tries to pass if off, but she ain’t buying it. She’s watching him, weighing him with her eyes, but not saying much. Honestly, I couldn’t quite get a read on how clued in she was to him until she asked him if he was hunting something. In her question and the echo of his reaction you could see a year’s worth of patience and worry shimmer between them.

He says that he thought he was, but then admits that he probably got worked up over nothing. However, since she knows he gets kinda OCD about these things, how ‘bout she take Ben to the movies and dinner while he just does one final sweep. His eyes start getting the tight look, where the lines at the corners deepen, and his jaw muscle works overtime.

She tells him to be careful—to which he predictably replies that careful is his middle name.

Riiiiight.

The minute she’s out of sight, though, the casual smile (that didn’t reach his eyes) is gone and he’s serious once more. He gets out a black trunk and opens it, seeing his leather jacket (gah! Again!) inside. He picks it up, holds it, letting his face fall into memory for a moment, then sets it aside. He grabs a journal (that doesn’t really look like John’s journal, so…maybe the boys started one??) and opens it presumably to look up what could make those claw marks when he hears a thunk against the garage door.

Grabbing a shotgun, he stands up and turns. A soccer ball rolls free. He moves around the end of the Impala. I totally curled up. I had almost forgotten to assume the position, so lulled into a false sense of security of his ‘normal’ life. As, apparently, was he for the most part. He whips around…and nothing’s there. I foolishly relax. He turns around and—

GAH! YED! I mean, Azazel! Or whatthehellever! I did NOT see that coming.

YED says in his usual snarky manner that the Apocalypse shook him loose. Dean looks horrified and scared and sickened.

“Big Daddy brought Cas back and decided to add a little…spice to all that sugar.”

Dean shoots him.

“Really? After all we’ve been through together?”

YED picks Dean up by the throat and begins to strangle him, yammering about his perfect life and woman and kid and wonders, “how do you keep your lawn so green?” Dean’s eyes flutter as he chokes and YED says, “Did you really think you were gonna get to keep all of this? You had to know they were gonna come for you sometime, pal.”

He slams Dean against something (wall? car? floor?) and is literally choking him to death. Dean’s eyes roll up when out of freakin’ NOWHERE Sam lunges. And in a very quick succession of confusing images, it appears that Sam stabs YED, only whatever he stabbed him with went into Dean and Dean sits forward, gasping.

And now we enter the part where the energy picks up slightly, as does my suspicion and irritation level with a few characters.

Vision wavering and coming slowly into focus, we are with Dean as he slowly comes to—Sam in his eye line—laying on a cot in what appears to be an abandoned or burned out house. Sam is watching him with a very strange smile on his face—not a holy shit I’m glad to see you or even an I know this is weird, but it’s going to be okay smile. It was almost…placating. And…it kinda bothered me.

Dean is holding his side as he sits up, staring at his brother in complete shock.

Sam: Hey, Dean.

Dean just stares, so Sam stands up (and is it me, or are his sideburns a tad longer?) and crosses the room.

Sam: I was expecting a hug…Holy Water in the face…something.

Dean (voice rough, edgy, raspy): So…I’m dead? YED killed me and….

Sam reveals that Dean was poisoned and that everything he thought he was seeing…wasn’t real. YED, claw marks, any of it. They do a nice job flashing back through Dean’s quick memories as he puts it together, changing the lighting from his apple-pie life to this darker, burned-out life of hunting quite nicely. It’s a good contrast to set the mood.

Dean: Are you real?

Sam says he’s real, and “saves him the trouble” of testing by cutting himself with a silver blade and then drinking salt water. He’s very cavalier. Moving too fast. Dean is reeling—utterly reeling—from seeing his brother again. Whole. Alive. And Sam’s almost like, You good? Okay, cool.

Dean stands up and chokes out, “Sammy.” He walks over and wraps Sam in a hard hug, eyes wet. Sam just smiles. Kinda. I couldn’t really even tell if he hugged his brother back. I assumed he did, but…we didn’t see it.

D: Wait, you were gone! That was it!

Sam’s like, yeah, he knows, but now he’s just back. Dean is still trying to find the thread, his eyes ginormous in his face, darting over Sam’s features as he takes it all in. Sam says that Cas isn’t answering his prayers (which was phrasing that caught me…prayers…intriguing).

S: One minute I was down there and the next it’s raining and I was lying in that field. Hard to look for whatever saved you when you got no leads and I looked for weeks.

Meanwhile, Dean looks shell-shocked as he takes this in.

D: Wait, how long have you been back?

S (reluctantly): About a year.

*thud*

I suspected it, but Dean…gah, that hit him hard.

D: You’ve been back this whole time?!

S: You finally had what you wanted.

*Gaelic scoffs*

D: I wanted my brother alive.

No kidding. This whole not telling Dean thing…as the plot thickened it just made my heart ache worse and worse. How could what Dean’s only family put him through ever be considered what he wanted? Did they not know him at all??

S: You wanted a family. You gave it up because of the way we lived. You had something and you were building something. Had I shown up, you would have given it up.

I was tight hearing that. Sam only guessed that. He didn’t know it. After all they’d been through, all they’d talked about, Sam didn’t know what Dean would have done if given the choice. He put his brother through a new version of Hell by hiding from him. Keeping it secret. I honestly think (and please don’t kill me for this) that this whole “doing it for you” argument was just an excuse to soften what was really mainly a selfish reason.

I don’t think Sam wanted Dean to suffer—not that. But I do think Sam wanted his own life. He fought for it almost all through Season 5 – to get out from under Dean’s “rule” or “control.” To be recognized as a hunter in his own right. And he should have been – he’s pretty awesome at what he does. And he says it later on that he gets a second chance. He wants to put everything they survived behind him, he has his brother all squared away with Lisa so he doesn’t have to feel guilty about “leaving” him, he can go off and be a hunter as he determined he wanted to be somewhere along the line.

If he’d told Dean he was alive, he thought Dean would come back…and not only would he then feel guilty about taking Dean away from the apple-pie life he thought his brother wanted, he would once again have his big brother always around who can’t help but want to protect him because that’s what he’s done all his life. It’s suffocating to Sam, and this gave him an out to be his own man.

So, I think it was selfish. Not malicious, but…selfish.

Dean demands to know what Sam’s been up to, and Sam tells him that he hooked up with some people and has been hunting this whole time. Not strangers, though. Family. And they’re here. Sam leads Dean into another room and introduces him to Gwen, Christian, and Mark Campbell. Something like…3rd cousins twice removed on Mary’s side.

Dean’s like, hold the phone, I thought all of mom’s relatives were dead. How come they didn’t know about these guys?

And a voice from the past says,”Because they didn’t know about you.”

Grandpa Campbell back from the dead. Dean looks like you could have knocked him over with a feather. Gramps hugs Dean while Dean flashes to meeting this man and then seeing him die. Gramps sends the cousins away while Dean just…stares.

G: Lot of resurrections in your face today. Take a minute.

D: Gonna take more than a minute.

Gaelic: No sh*t.

So, Gramps says that they figure whatever pulled Sam up, pulled him down. And whatever this is…they’re both a part of it. So, we have our arc. This is one of the few shows that can get away with that logic, too. Seriously—you think anything else could get away with having Grandpa die in 1973 and then return in 2010 because “someone/thing” pulled him out of Heaven? They’ve laid the groundwork for pretty plausible impossibilities. It’s rather impressive, I think.

There’s some big bad afoot—and it’s still involving Heaven and Hell, but not (let’s hope) to the extent of the last two seasons. And while it’s a shame Heaven couldn’t return John Winchester, it actually makes more sense that it was a Campbell relative.

While he was a soldier, the only reason John was a hunter was because of what happened to Mary. Or, so it would seem. I’m still not sure why Adam (John’s son and in no way connected to Mary) could be a vessel with the whole bloodline thing, so maybe we’ll learn that there’s more to the Winchester line as far as hunting is concerned than we thought. But for now, we know that Mary’s family is the family of hunters, so if there is a Big Bad out there (which it appears is the case) and God (or…whom/whatever) wants there to be hunters in the mix, it makes sense that the person returned to the fray be from the Campbell line.

Dean, the voice of reason (oddly enough) spouts, “Am I the only one that thinks this can’t just be…fine??”

G: No, but Sam was adamant about leaving you out, so we did.

*grumbles*

Sam apparently got ‘dosed’ by the djinn poison a few days ago. This is a new breed of djinn—not the cave dweller hermits. They look like regular people and poison with a touch so that you end up succumbing to your worst nightmares.

*DING! Waitress with the digits and the bitchin’ tattoo!*

Gramps apparently had a cure for the djinn poison, saved Sam, and Sam figured they’d be coming after Dean since they staked one awhile back. Dean gets afraid for Lisa and Ben and makes Sam take him back.

Sam’s driving a Dodge Charger—2010 model. Black. Niiiice. But no Impala.

They tear up to Lisa’s house and Dean barrels in, calling for Lisa and Ben and getting no answer. He turns to face his brother, fear rippling over his face, and Sam looks truly upset for the first time since we’ve seen him.

{TOTAL ASIDE: Harry Potter 7, Part 1 preview! Squee!}

Dean goes for the phone and is looking at pics on the pegboard from his normal life. Lisa with Ben. Dean with Ben. Lisa with Dean. Just…family. Normal. Happy. Suddenly Lisa and Ben return (from the movies, duh) and Dean grabs them both and holds them tight. Lisa wants to know what gives, calls him ‘pal.’ Dean tells them to pack a bag—he’s taking them to a friends. Ben moves to go do that when he sees Sam and is all…ummmmm.

Lisa remembers Sam and is shocked to see him.

Next thing we know, Dean knocks on a door and Bobby opens.

B: Dammit.

D: Nice to see you, too, Bobby. Been a while.

B: If you’re here, something’s wrong.

Dean introduces Lisa and Ben and Bobby tells them they can go upstairs—but not to touch the décor. “Assume it’s all loaded.”

Heh.

Sam shows up in the doorway and the look on Dean’s face it totally prepared for Bobby’s shock. However, Bobby calmly nods and says, “Sam.”

BOBBY FREAKIN’ KNEW.

This actually hurt me worse than Sam not telling. Sam not telling and BOBBY keeping it from Dean? I know they had their reasons, and I know they ‘meant well’ but still! It just…it hurt my heart that they really thought this was the best way.

Part of me wanted to see the other side of it. The side that said they cared so much for this man—brother, pseudo-son—that they wanted him to have what neither of them ever could. What they knew Dean literally dreamed about. They loved him and the wanted him happy and this is the way they jointly decided to give that to him.

I really wanted to see it from that perspective.

But I couldn’t. I just saw how it hurt Dean. How it would hurt me. How they didn’t know him—and, possibly, respect him—well enough to know that living as he’d been wasn’t really living. It was surviving. Making the best of things. Making it work because he had no other choice.

They took away his choices.

Dean is pissed. Pacing. Line between the eyes, jaw working over time. Bobby is sitting between the brothers, trucker hat firmly in place. Sam is sitting on a window seat, watching his brother, quiet. His face isn’t really readable. To me.

Dean: You knew Sam was alive?

Bobby: And I’d do it again because you got out! You walked away!

D: Do you have any idea what that meant for me?

B: A woman and a kid and not getting your guts ripped out at age 30.

*ouch*

D: That woman and kid I went to because you (points to Sam) asked me to!

B: Good!

D: Good for who?? I showed up on their doorstep half out of my mind with grief. Who knows why they let me in? I drank too much. I had nightmares. I looked everywhere. I collected hundreds of books trying to find anything to bust you out.

*rubs heart* Yep. That’s exactly how I thought he’d spend his time.

Sam: You promised you’d leave it alone.

OMG, seriously?? SERIOUSLY? He seriously expected his brother to say to himself, Well, that’s that. I promised. I’m gonna go live my normal life like I promised Sam and just let him hang out there in the cage with the Devil. We did our jobs. *rolls eyes* Sam, Sam, Sam….

Dean: Of course I didn’t leave it alone. Sue me.

He turns to Bobby, his eyes wet, anger slipping to hurt as he confronts the man who’d become like a father to him.

D: A damn year? You couldn’t put me out of my misery?

*rubs heart again*

Bobby: I get that it wasn’t easy, but that’s life and it’s as close to happiness as I’ve seen a hunter get. I never want to lie to you, son. But you were out, Dean.

Again, I say that while he thought he was doing this for Dean, in reality it was selfish. Bobby was giving Dean what he could never have: a family. And he was releasing himself from the worry of losing Dean due to hunting. Again. He couldn’t go through that another time and now, if Dean were with Lisa and didn’t know about Sam, Bobby wouldn’t have to.

Sure Dean had dreamed about Lisa. Sure he’d said before that he was tired of the life, the weight on his shoulders. And yes, he’d literally given his life for this job. But I keep going back to the fact that they took his choices away from him. They didn’t let him decide to stay with Lisa. They assumed. I’m not saying their assumptions were wrong—and more than likely, they were right. But that’s not the point. They jumped to a conclusion and acted and put Dean through a year of pain that was completely unnecessary. And while they couldn’t have really prevented the djinn from coming after Dean, just like Dean says later, one of them probably thought at some point the something was going to come after him. He wasn’t going to be able to stay out.

Dean: Do I look out to you?

Lisa comes down, says Ben is fine, and asks how Dean is. He can’t speak for a moment and his whole being stutters slightly as he skips over the answer to move on into the “Bobby’s a great guy and will take care of you” conversation. He says he’s sorry, that these things were coming for him and he should have known.

Lisa: How could you know a monster was going to show up?

Good girl.

Dean: I should have known. If I stayed with you, something was going to show up because something always shows up, but I was stupid and reckless and…you can’t outrun your past.

Lisa looks slightly shocked, then scared, then mad. She realizes he’s saying goodbye. Dean sits next to her and says that he’s saying he’s sorry. For everything.

Wrong thing to say, pal.

Lisa: You’re an idiot. I know it wasn’t greeting card perfect, but we were in it together.

D: I was a wreck half the time.

L: Yeah, well, when the guy that basically just saved the world shows up at your door, you expect him to have a few issues.

Good girl!

L: You were so amazing for Ben. What I wanted more than anything was a guy that Ben could look up to. Like a Dad.

OUCH.

And then she basically tells him what he can do with his goodbye, saying, “It was the best year of my life.”

And yeah. I can see that. How could she not love Dean? Especially the Dean we saw at the start of the episode. Especially after nursing him through devastating grief and holding him through nightmares and working out how to accept Devil’s Traps on your floor and an Impala in your garage that’s never used. Especially after a year of him—someone like him—needing her.

The brothers head back to Gramps’ hide-out in Sam’s Charger and Dean’s like, what’s the plan? Gramps says they stock up and get set. Dean’s like…so, there’s no plan. Gramps is like, we’ll find them. Be patient.

Dean: Let’s go kill the sonsabitches that broke into my house.

Christian: Relax, Dean. We got it handled. Djinn are hard to draw out. You’ve been out of the game for awhile. Why don’t you leave it to the professionals?

Annnnd I officially hate Christian. I really don’t think that’s going to change.

Dean, with an extremely schooled and patient expression, says: Right, okay. Tiny suggestion. Djinn are easier to draw out when you got bait. They know where I live. Now…I haven’t been hunting in awhile, but I’m gonna stick my neck out and guess that’s a pretty good place for us to go. See…it’s almost like I’m a professional.

HA! In your FACE, Christian. *growls*

So…the Campbell clan pack up and head to Dean and Lisa’s where the hunters mock the mags, pick up the pics, and Sam even gives Dean the golf? really? reaction.

I know Dean could be a dick to ‘regular’ people in the past, so the hunters’ behavior wasn’t too surprising. They acted superior as we’ve seen Dean behave before as well. When you know something that affects the world and only a few other people know it…you get cocky.

But they were behaving this way to a fellow hunter who had only lived this life because he’d promised his brother – and because up until that morning, he thought that brother was in Hell. Made me a bit growly. Dean goes to splash water on his face and Gramps meets him in the kitchen.

On a purely shallow note? This whole scene with Dean and Gramps was very attractively lit and Dean looked gooooood.

Gramps tells Dean that he gets it. Dean wanted a normal life. His mom had wanted a normal life, too. In fact, Dean reminds Samuel of his daughter—the attitude for one thing. Heh. I liked that. But then he goes on to say that Dean’s ancestors were chopping heads off vamps on the Mayflower and that this Big Bad they were up against was…well…big…and, um, bad. It was all hands on deck, and they needed him.

Gramps: We’re your blood and we’re out there dying trying to get in front of this. Maybe not the best time for golf.

AS IF HE KNEW!

Seriously, cut the guy some friggin’ slack, people! It’s a lot to take in—and because of the only choice his blood gave him, he now has the responsibility of two innocents. He can’t just bail. It’s not who he is. And someone in that Campbell Fight Club knows that.

Dean goes out to Mark in the truck—noticing this particular cousin is rather taciturn—and discovers that there are three djinn just lurking, waiting until they aren’t outnumbered. Dean and Sam convince the other Campbell’s to clear out, promising to call when the djinn move in.

Sam is looking at the pictures over the phone, then glances at his brother asking if he was okay.

Dean: Oh, yeah. No, this is crazy. You? Grandpa? Whoever brought you back….

He wants to know if Sam remembers the cage. Sam says he does.

Dean: If anyone can relate….

Sam: I don’t want to talk about it. I’m back, I get to breathe fresh air, have a beer, hunt with my family, see you again. Why would I want to think about Hell?

Interesting, really. When Dean came back, Sam tried everything to get his brother to talk about it, so he should understand why Dean wants to know. But at the same time, Dean resisted talking about it himself until he had no choice but to reveal tiny little tidbits about the torture he endured, so he should understand Sam’s reticence to rehash it.

It seemed like they both would have gotten there if they hadn’t been interrupted by the djinn. But it’s an interesting dichotomy of two survivors. In my five year recap thingy, I likened it to comparing WWII vets from the European theater and the Pacific theater. Two completely different versions of the same Hell: war.

Neither could say the other was worse, that they suffered more, lost more. Because both suffered and both lost and they didn’t live through each other’s fight. There’s no real way to compare it and if anything, it should unify them.

The only thing that trips me up with that is that Dean went to Hell as Dean, fought back as Dean, was tortured as Dean, and broke as Dean. Sam, however, went to hell with The Devil trapped inside of him and fell into a cage with Lucifer’s nemesis. So he wasn’t completely Sam.

And that troubles me. A lot, actually.

Before they could delve into how Hell is definitely not for heroes, Dean sees that Sid (his neighbor) and Sid’s wife are convulsing and dying while the dark haired waitress from the bar looks on.

HA! I knew it!

Dean heads to get the djinn cure and run over there. Sam tries to stop him saying, “They’re already dead and you know it.”

Dean’s all, “This is happening to them because of me.” And heads over, vaulting a chain-link fence (yum) and blasting his way inside. Sam, meanwhile, is confronted with djinn #3 and ends up using the very golf clubs he mocked as a weapon. Heh.

Dean’s neighbors are dead and he’s grabbed by two other djinns—a guy from behind and the waitress from in front. She tells him that to get him back for killing their father (everyone has Daddy issues, don’t they?) he’s getting a double—very lethal—dose. They touch him and he starts to convulse, his veins popping out and his eyes rolling up white.

He collapses and they leave, heading across the way to Sam.

While Sam ends up fighting the two that attacked Dean—still with the golf clubs—Dean is trapped in his worst nightmare where his past replays in his present and Lisa and Ben are attacked by the YED while Dean is pinned, trapped, forced to watch as Lisa is dragged to the ceiling, her belly split open, whimpering “it’s all your fault” while the YED holds Ben and makes him drink his blood saying that this one is special. Lisa bursts into flames above Dean and we pull out of his nightmare to see him laying limp and shaking on the floor of his neighbor’s house.

Gramps returns in time to save Sam from djinn #2, then tells him to go get Dean, he’s got the last one. Christian (*growl*) shows up and they pull a bag over the female djinn, tying her up and telling her they won’t kill her. Gramps tells Chris to get her into the van before the boys come back, then gives us this Skinner-shifty-eye look.

Bzuahh? Wha? The plot, it thickens!

Next thing we know, Dean and Sam are walking around Lisa’s house, randomly putting things back up. So…I guess Sam saved his brother. That’s a helluva missing scene there, says I. 

Sam says that the Campbell clan headed back to their hide-out and Sam’s gonna meet them there. He wants to know if Dean’s going to join him. Dean says no. He’s going back for Lisa and Ben. Sam’s surprised.

S: I practically shoved you at them.

D: Funny way to put it, but all right.

S: When I told you to go, I thought you could have it. But now…you gotta consider the fact that you’ll be putting them in danger if you go back.

*frustrated*

Okay, so he didn’t tell Dean he was alive all this time because he knew Dean would leave. Not because he was afraid of putting Dean’s new family in danger, but because Dean would give up this wonderful gift of a normal life Sam had given him. Only…now Dean has to consider going back to them will put them in danger? Really?

Dean: So, it’s better to have them alone? Unprotected? Then they’re not in danger? I did this to them. I can’t undo that. But what I can do? Is go with the best option.

Sam: I guess I just wish you were coming, that’s all.

Dean: Why?

Sam: Don’t be stupid.

How is that stupid, I wonder? Sam was fine hunting without Dean for a year—not only that, he was adamant that their newfound family keep Dean out of it AND he made Bobby promise not to say anything. If I were Dean, I’d wonder ‘why’ myself.

Dean: I mean it. You know plenty of good hunters. I’m rusty. I just ran out there and almost got us both killed.

Sam: That’s why I want you. You just went. You didn’t hesitate. Because you care. That’s who you are. Me? I wouldn’t even think to try.

Dean: Yes, you would.

Sam: No, Dean. I’m telling you. It’s just…better with you around. That’s all.

What happened to you, Sam? What happened to your heart? We’re not just seeing Sam the Hunter. We’ve seen that before—and he moved like he was broken inside. Not like he didn’t care. And it’s not like they “changed roles” or whatever. Sam may have been slightly “domesticated” at Stanford, but he was a kid then. He was rebelling. It was totally different than what Dean is doing holding down a job and helping to raise a kid. And even when Dean was scary-hunter-man after John died, being cocky with civilians and all-go-no-quit with the wrath, he still held his heart in his eyes. I’m worried for Sam. Something is off…colder…distant. And it’s not just that I want the “old Sam” back–I just want him to be Sam. And I can’t help but wonder where they’re going with this. With him.

Hell changed both of them—both times. The living through the actuality of it and the surviving on the top side of it. And this year that Sam chose to stay away from Dean—not even letting him know he was alive, that he wasn’t being tortured in Hell—has changed their relationship in a big way. It can’t not. I mean, Dean said it himself—if anyone can relate to a tour in Hell, it’s him. And neither Bobby nor Sam considered that his memories of Hell wouldn’t torture him while he was working to make this year—the best year of Lisa’s life—work for him?

While he lived in another man’s skin?

And Sam…what is driving him now? Before it was because Dad said. Then it was to find Jessica’s killer. Then it was to save Dean. Then it was to avenge Dean. Then it was to save the world. Each involved his heart. And now…he wouldn’t even think of heading out to see if there was even a chance to save those people. I want to know what –aside from discovering who saved him and why (and maybe that’s enough?)—is driving him now. I want to know what happened to change him so much. He hadn’t been innocent in a long time, but he’d always had his heart.

Dean tries to give Sam the Impala—saying she should be hunting, but meaning (I think) take a piece of me with you. Sam declines, saying he has his car all set up the way he wants. Because while it might be better with Dean around…he still wants his individuality. And he should have it. I just wish he’d made a different choice as to how he went about it.

Dean walks Sam out, asking him to keep in touch. Sam says of course, tells Dean to take care of himself, his eyes sad, his mouth drawn down into a frown, and then he drives off. Dean starts to wave and then forcibly moves his hand down, denying himself even that as his red-rimmed eyes watch Sam go.

And so we begin with uncertainty and questions, suspicion and wariness. We have a family reunited, but with barriers erected where before there were none. Or at least…not as high. And not as many. And we have a relationship that had at one time saved a man’s life now called into question.

I don’t know about ya’ll? But I’m very intrigued.

I will work to reply to your always-insightful comments as quickly as I can, but with the shift to Fridays, there may be lag-time. Saturdays belong to my Mo Chuisle and my man.

Thanks for reading!

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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