Remember in the Season 1 blooper reel when they were trying to do the Merry Christmas from the cast and crew of Supernatural thingy and they were leaning on the car and Jensen suddenly goes, “You’re not Sam,” and they both start laughing?
Yeah. That thought crossed my mind more than once in this episode.
Today was a day where everything that could go wrong at work DID go wrong at work—the kind of wrong you find out about at zero hour and your stomach bottoms out and your blood pressure spikes and you realize this means a weekend full of work and blargh! The hubs made up for it a bit by taking me to dinner which…*breathe*
So if I summarize more than usual or seem taciturn-ish, I apologize. I’ll make up for it next week.
We start off in Buffalo, NY, with a guy coming out of the Honey Wagon Bar on the phone checking in about his…kid…er…wait…um…dog? Yeah, uh, disturbingly enough, I think he was talking about his dog. Anyway, we see that he’s being watched from the bushes as he finishes his conversation. He gets in his car and whatever is watching him lunges at the car and dives through the front windshield and blam. Blood on window and one very dead guy.
Oddly enough, as the camera pulled away, I saw that reflected in the shiny black door of his car were the words: Jewelry For Cash. It ended up meaning nothing for the storyline, but it totally caught my eye. *shakes head at self*
Next day (or so) we’re with the guys at Fat Mack’s Rib Shack and Sam is sitting at a table picking at his food while Dean is on the phone with Bobby asking him to keep digging for any other way of getting Sam’s soul back than having them work for Crowley.
Oh. Hello, Crowley.
The Self-Appointed King of Hell shows up and says, “Is that Bobby Singer? Give him a kiss for me.”
Dean’s expression could be described as…erf. Just, yeah. Erf.
Crowley has a job for them—sits down next to a surprised-looking Sam and Dean drops down across from him telling him he can shove his job up his ass. Sam doesn’t say a word.
C: Is that any way to talk to your boss?
D: You’re not my boss, dick bag.
C: Quit clutching your pearls; you’ve been working with me for some time. Sam…longer.
Hee…I know he’s a bad guy, and by that very nature must one day be defeated, but I gotta say, I enjoy him. I’ll be sorry to see him go. One day.
Sam’s giving Crowley that narrow-eyed I know I’m supposed to be pissed off here and this is the expression that conveys pissed off look and says, “We didn’t know.”
Crowley sees right through it.
C: You’d sell your brother for $1 right now if you really needed the soda.
Y’know, the sad part is he’s right. Soda’s really do cost $1 these days.
Dean just can’t get his head around them having to work for a demon. He looks down and simply says, “No.” He’s done some shady things in his time, but he’s not doing this. And I can’t blame him for digging his heels in. He started out with a simple directive: kill the baddies. Demons have always been at the top of the baddie list. Then things got sideways quick and he was suddenly following in his father’s footsteps, making deals with demons, surviving as the angel’s chew toy, and now…working for a demon? No wonder his pretty head is spinning.
Crowley simply says he bets Dean will work for him and touches the back of Sam’s hand, instantly turning it a painful, molten red and causing Sam to cry out. Crowley says something I didn’t clearly catch, but it sounded like, “You like Hell, Sam?” As if that burn on his hand was just a taste of what was currently happening to his soul—or, perhaps, what could have happened to him had he been down there any longer than he had. Or a threat as to what could happen if they don’t play nice.
Dean reacts instinctively, flinching, his eyebrows pulling together, his eyes darting in a clear, what the hell expression. Doesn’t really matter what he does or doesn’t think about This Sam…a demon was causing his brother pain. And that had to stop.
C: This is a hostage situation. I own your brother.
Crowley stops the burning and then sweetens the deal. He tells Dean he’ll give back a little bit of Sam’s soul for every Alpha they bring back.
Hmmm…. Not sure yet how I feel about pieces of a soul. How does that work, exactly? And if I’m having a hard time with the way SoullessSam is or isn’t conveying emotions…I’m just wondering how it’s going to work if he is QuarterSoulSam…y’know? I guess I want it to be a bigger deal when he gets his soul back—like that scene in Buffy when she has to stab Angelus to send him to Hell and save the world and just before she does—BAM! His soul is returned and it’s Angel not Angelus. It was a pretty big moment, y’know? That’s…kinda what I’m hoping for here.
But I’m ever-willing to watch how the story rolls out. ETA: According to several commenters, I may have mis-heard Crowley. He may have said "Little Sammy's soul" rather than "a little of Sammy's soul." Which would mean he'd give the whole soul back in exchange for a live Alpha. If that's right, it would play out more like I said I wanted it to, above. However...I don't know that I trust that. I mean...Crowley wants the local of Pergatory. The Alpha Vamp didn't give it up; who's to say the next Alpha they bag will do so? Seems a bit too easy to say that they bag a live Alpha (which, yeah, not like that's going to be easy) and he gives Sam back his soul. Crowley will find a loophole or cite some fine print like he did with Bobby.... *ponders worriedly*
Annnnyway. Crowley gives them a newspaper with the story of the dead car guy and says his chest was ripped open and his heart was missing.
Sam’s immediately like, “Werewolf.” Without missing a beat, Dean chimes in, “Not a full moon.”
Crowley: Werewolves turning on a full moon is so…’09.
Sam says that he’s right—he and Gramps bagged a werewolf about six months ago on the half moon. Curiouser and curiouser. However, Dean’s tight jaw conveyed that more than werewolves have been out of whack for awhile.
Sometime later, they’re in the car, at night, and Sam is telling Dean what he’s found out (somehow) about the victim. Vic wasn’t exactly the nicest of guys, owned some apartments, blah blah blah. He’s already dug in and doing the job and Dean’s like, seriously?
D: It’s just…y’know…I’m working for a demon…I don’t even know who you are…I just need a second to adjust.
No kidding. They never really get time to assimilate the truckloads of seemingly impossible information shoved at them in very little time. And if his balance—namely his brother—is missing, everything else is just…wrong.
S: This is a crap situation. I get it. But I’m still me. Same melon, same memories. Still like the same music. Still think about Suzie Eisor.
D: Biology class Suzie Eisor?
HA! I loved Dean’s wry face here—how he glanced askance at Sam with that look that only guys can perfect and get away with. The look that says he’s mentally checking out Suzie’s…attributes…in that very moment.
S: Can you blame me? I know you don’t trust me. And I can’t take back what I did. But I’m going to prove that I’m still your brother.
Dean looks doubtful, and his expression mirrored mine. I told a friend earlier today that the hubs and I are working with our four-year-old on what it means to say, “I’m sorry.” We want her to say it—but only because it means you truly feel bad about what you did and will do your best not to do it again. However, the words I’m sorry aren’t magic words that make the bad thing you did disappear. You still have to face the consequences of your actions.
I thought about that during Sam’s speech and his “I’m sorry” from last week. And the week before. At this point in the episode I was in full-on “just go with it, Gaelic” mode because I didn’t buy what Sam was selling. I wanted to because I miss the Sam I Remember. And the Sam I Remember would have totally sold me on those words and I would have been pulling for him to convince Dean and win back his brother’s trust.
But the Sam That Is…he’s not the Sam I Remember. Not even close. I mean…and this is just me…but was tripped up by his words, and thinking how can someone who doesn’t feel even like music? How can someone who doesn’t feel lust after a memory of a pretty girl? I know, I know, the hooker, but part of me wonders if he just did her because he could. Not out of any form of need or desire—as both of those stem from feelings.
And all I could see was him logically using the correct words to manipulate his brother into doing what he needed Dean to do—get the Alpha. The BIG question I carried throughout the episode was: why? I was unsure of Sam’s motivation until the end scene. And even then I was slightly wary, though more reassured that I wasn’t (and therefore Dean wasn’t) being played.
So…Dean decides to play ball, apparently, because next thing we know, they’re down at the docks, suited up, and approaching a crime scene with authority. They flash their FBI badges at a local detective-type-person and Dean introduces them as Agents Holt and Wilson.
Okay, someone, take pity on me. I usually get their aliases and love when I’m in on the joke…but this? Whoosh. Right over my head. Help a gal out? ETA: I was saved! Thanks to bugs1027 at another site where this ramble is posted, I now know that the alias come from a 1981 movie called "Wolfen." Hee! Ah, that's better.
The Detective wants to know why the Feds were there and Sam, with an expression like he was teetering-on-death-bored, says, “We’re specialists. They call us in to answer the questions of mouth-breathing dick monkeys.”
Dean cuts his eyes over to his brother all, Dude…. That was…unexpected. “Dick” must have been the insult of choice for this episode, too, because I heard it no less than three times.
The detective, though mirroring Dean’s WTH expression, wasn’t as off-put by the insult as you’d think because he obliged Sam by filling them in on the situation. Victim was a dock worker—attacked by an animal. Second one in two days, in fact. Heart missing as well.
Dean: Animal. Out here. Think it came for the sailing?
Next thing we know, Dean is sleeping. Mmmmm…. We get a nice shot of his profile and The Bicep Of Doom before a noise in the background jars him awake and he comes to all groggy and rubbing his face and completely, hair-tussled, adorable. *bites lip*
He slept on top of the covers in his jeans and T-shirt and I found something about that just…delicious. *unf* He peers sleepy-eyed over his shoulder and sees Sam up and dressed. He says in a gravelly, sleep-rough voice, “You didn’t sleep. ‘Cause you don’t. Sleep.”
Turning away from Sam, he rubs his eyes and mutters, “Not creepy at all.”
I have to say, I’m a little jealous. I don’t sleep much, and my body feels the impact. Sam doesn’t sleep at all and is perfectly healthy. *pouts* (I’m just kidding…)
Sam’s all like, yeah, yeah, yeah, are you just gonna stare at me, or do you actually want to work this case because I found stuff. Only he doesn’t say it exactly like that. But basically he found a link between the two victims and wants Dean to get the lead out already.
D: Let me get dressed, Robocop.
They pull up to a house and we’re treated to a shot of Sam pulling out a big-ass gun, chambering a round, and putting it in his back waistband – which would have been a lot sexier if he weren’t wearing a suit. I don’t know…suits just…don’t do it for me. However, I don’t think it was sexy they were going for. Sam was in serious No Nonsense Mode.
They knock on the door and a woman holding a toddler—a boy maybe about three or four—lets them inside once she sees their badges. She asks her boy to go play in his room and clears kiddie toys off the table really quickly. They want to talk to a Cal Garrigan (I think—didn’t quite catch the last name clearly) and she says he’s her boyfriend, but he’s sleeping.
D: Mind telling him up and at ‘em? He’s got guests.
Right about then, Cal stumbles into the kitchen.
D: Mornin. Ish.
A German Sheppard—that I didn’t even know was there at first—growls when Cal enters the room and this draws Sam’s attention. After some evasive questioning and Cal and the woman—Amanda (hee)—looking oddly guilty, Dean surmises that Cal got blind drunk and passed out and Sam’s all, “Who knows what you’ve been up to at night.”
Cal and Amanda continue to look anxious and shifty and it’s unclear as to why—but looking back you figure that it’s because Cal stays out all night drinking and Amanda doesn’t know where he is or why she’s still with him.
Sam announces that they’re investigating the death of Cal’s brother, Ron—the guy on the dock. Sam says there’s sketchy stuff between the two, which Cal doesn’t deny.
Cal: You love your brother, y’know, but Ron had a lot of problems. He was…volatile.
Dean shifts his eyes to the side, but says nothing.
Sam points out that the last time Ron was there, Cal called the cops. Cal said it was because Ron pushed Amanda. Then Sam brings up Dead Guy #1 and says he was their landlord and isn’t it weird that they were both killed by animal attacks? Amanda and Cal continue to look shifty and nervous as they ask why the Feds are asking about their landlord and Dean says they’re just following procedure and they get up to leave. On the way out, Sam suggests they take Cal out.
D: No, we make sure.
D: Before we hand him over to a lifetime of demon rape? Yeah, really.
Hmmmm…now who was worried about whom shooting first and asking questions later? Interesting.
So, they follow Cal who manages to drink his way around Buffalo, NY, all night. Dean comments that he’s getting cirrhosis just watching him—which is sadly ironic considering how much our boy tends to drink. Sam is quietly patient, wanting to wait Cal out, convinced he’s the werewolf. So…they wait. All night. Come morning, no wolfing out, but Sam’s unconvinced.
They leave the warehouse they’d been staking out watching Cal and his buddies pickle their livers, and soon after, Cal’s buddies leave. Before Cal is able to get in his pick-up for an ill-advised drive home, the German Sheppard—Lucky—from Amanda’s house shows up. And before you can say Rin-Tin-Tin, he jumps Cal, kills him, eats his heart….
And morphs into a man.
A good friend of mine told me this particular storyline closely resembled a book she’d read recently called, “Sharp Teeth.” It’s written in free verse, so I haven’t tackled it yet, but apparently the werewolf-cum-skinwalker theme isn’t terribly original. So…the storyline of this episode wasn’t hugely compelling, but the brother message that flowed around the edges and crashed against us at the end was worth it.
Anyway, Man!Lucky heads back to Amanda’s, stands in her room and watches her sleep for a minute, then morphs back into Dog!Lucky and climbs into bed with her. I have to say, I did eye my black lab a bit at this part. She, in turn, cocked her head innocently back at me as if to say, whatever you’re thinking, I didn’t do it.
Lucky wakes Amanda up in the morning with some slobbery dog kisses and she proclaims him her “only decent boyfriend” once she realizes that Cal isn’t there. She heads to the bathroom, strips, and steps into the shower. All with Lucky watching.
Now that is creepy.
So…back with the boys, they’re at the crime scene with Cal’s body and Dean goes out on a limb to say it’s not Cal. Which leaves them one suspect: Amanda.
S: Can you do it?
S: Shove her in the trunk, serve her up to Crowley?
Dean pauses, looks down, takes a breath, then meets Sam’s eyes.
S: Yeah, Sam. I can do it.
Sam’s all, okay cool. He was, quite literally, just checking. Not concerned. Dean watches him walk away and his face is inscrutable.
We get a little Lucky Dog montage with Amanda comforting her little boy who isn’t feeling well and Lucky bringing his toy and being such a good dog, yes…you’re such a good dog. Amanda goes to take Lucky for a walk (and leaves her little boy alone?) and that’s when our guys find her. They confront her only to realize she had no idea that Cal was dead. They take her inside and sit down to talk with Lucky watching them. They ask her to come with them, but she’s visibly shaken and trying to connect all the dots.
She says her boy was sick all night and she’s basically operating on 30 mins of sleep. Boy, do I know that feeling. Dean’s all, hold up…can I talk to your son?
Sam (his voice hard and disbelieving): What difference does that make, Agent Holt?
D: Trust me. It’s important.
They end up leaving with Dean saying that Amanda is innocent and Sam saying she’s lying—alibi or no alibi.
S: Last werewolf was in bed with me and she still wolfed out.
D: Don’t make this personal. Something isn’t adding up.
See, now, I would’ve bought the painful memory of Madison from the Sam I Remember, but with the Sam That Is? Pfft. I was right with Dean. Don’t go there. Different situation entirely.
So, Sam says that Dean should go check out Cal’s crime scene and he’ll stay and keep an eye on Amanda. Dean’s like, uhhh, how ‘bout we switch? Sam scoffs that he still knows how to do his job—he’s just going to watch her. Dean is reluctant, his expression worried, but Sam wins. I guess trust has to start somewhere, right?
Sam is outside Amanda’s house, leaning up against a play set, looking in through Amanda’s window, and I was suddenly reminded of this movie with Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman called “The Strangers.” Something about the way he was standing there, not moving, expressionless, was incredibly spooky to me. Anyway, as he’s watching, he sees Lucky The Dog turn into Man!Lucky and is all, bah…wha?
He pulls his gun and ducks into the shadows, watching Man!Lucky as he climbs a low chain link fence and meets up with a Big Guy who looks like he’s reading Lucky the riot act, then Man!Lucky turns around and heads back…only…he can smell Sam. He actually looks right over to where Sam is hiding, but Sam has pulled back into the shadows enough that he can’t be seen. It’s a little chilling, actually, to know Sam was there and Lucky just couldn’t see him. One flinch and Sam would have been caught.
Not that it would have mattered as Lucky was a bit of a softy, but we didn’t know that at the time—we’d just seen him rip some dude’s heart out.
Man!Lucky takes off running and Sam gives chase—using a trampoline to impressively clear the fence and keep running. Nicely done, Sam. Man!lLucky turns back into a dog on the fly and Sam’s still running after him. Suddenly, it’s minivan vs pooch and Lucky gets clipped. The minivan owners pick him up and we hear them say something about a vet and Sam tries to flag them down saying, “That’s my dog!” but they don’t hear him. Ooops.
Back at the motel, Dean’s looking at Lisa’s name on his cell phone. He tosses the phone on the table without calling and just as he turns away, the phone rings. The speed with which he turns and grabs the phone speaks to the fact that he had one, wild hope that it was her. But alas, it was Sam.
Sam tells Dean that it isn’t a werewolf—it’s a skinwalker. Both guys were rusty on their skinwalker lore, but luckily Bobby didn’t have anything else going on in that moment and was able to look it up for Sam. Basically, they’re werewolf cousins, can infect you with one bite, nosh on human hearts, and can be killed with silver bullets. Easy enough, right?
Sam tells Dean he knows where their canine friend is, too. They head to the vet and find Lucky. Dean crouches in front of the kennel with Sam in the background casually tossing a ball back and forth. Dean shows the dog a clip full of silver bullets.
D: Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
He says it’s time to go and they can do it the easy way (holds up clothes) or the hard way (holds up a choke collar). Lucky whines. Sam laughs. Dean shoots him a look.
S: What? Soul or not, that’s funny.
They take Man!Lucky back to the motel and tie him up with silver-lined rope and a couple of silver chains. He’s going nowhere, ya’ll. Sam’s questioning him, and is toooootally cocky. Like full-on bad-cop cocky.
S: Why shack up with a family? Is it a kinky thing? Do you play with your food? Roll over. Speak.
ML: Go to Hell.
S: Already been. Didn’t agree with me. So, how about I take this silver knife and I start carving some dog until you behave?
Dean is sitting quietly on the edge of the bed, watching.
ML: Do what you’ve gotta do.
Sam advances and Dean stops him with a calm, rather gentle, “Hang on, Sam.”
Sam pulls up short—almost as if Dean’s voice is a leash—and stares menacingly at Man!Lucky. Dean is in reflective, good-cop mode.
D: You don’t have to tell me why you’re with the family. I get it. You killed every threat that came near them. You care about them. What I want to know is, who is that guy you were kibitzing with?
ML: I can’t say anything.
Why, ‘cause you don’t talk about Fight Club?
D: If you don’t, you’re gonna put the girl and the little boy in danger and sooner or later all this crap is going to come for them.
Dean, drawing on his own fear and heartache about Lisa and Ben, tells Man!Lucky that he and Sam don’t care about him—it’s Amanda and her son that matter to them. Keeping them safe. That’s their only agenda. Man!Lucky gives in and tells them that there are like 30 skinwalkers in this particular pack. They were all recruited. I’m sensing a pattern….
Their mission was to find a family, settle in, and wait for the signal. When they got it, psychically, they were supposed to turn their families—and 30 becomes 150, and so forth. They aren’t the only sleeper cell out there, either. Which is…worrisome.
Dean tries to convince Man!Lucky that he can help stop them, but Man!Lucky is afraid—the guys that turned him are ruthless. Meanwhile, Sam apparently decides to have a little fun. He whistles and catches ML’s eye, then tosses the ball he’d been playing catch with off to the side, his eyes challenging.
Dean: Sam. Not. Helping.
ML: Fetch this, dick.
See? Favorite insult this episode.
Sam’s expression smoothes into an almost-playful, fake-offended look. Hee.
Dean calls ML’s bluff about turning his family—using his ability to read people (which is honed this go-round) he says that these are the only people who have ever shown Lucky any kindness. ML relents and they make a plan to take out the pack (or so I assume…we didn’t actually see the planning).
The boys are parked under an overpass and are getting weapons out of the trunk. Sam wants to know how they’re going to sneak up on someone/thing that can smell them 100 yards out. Dean shows him the sniper rifle—which I don’t think we’ve seen since Andy and his Evil Twin back in Season 2.
They have a brief, tense discussion about taking out the pack leader and stopping the psychic signal thereby saving 150 people or having the pack leader give up the Alpha who they take to Crowley for a piece of Sam’s soul. Sam says he’s just asking—wants to be clear on the plan. He says it like it doesn’t matter to him either way, but I started to wonder at this point how much it really did matter to him.
Was he just doing the job because that’s what he’s been doing and he knows how to make people help him get the job done? Or did he truly want to play Crowley’s game for the sake of his soul? I’m not trying to put Sam in a bad light. This isn’t Old Sam, here. This is Soulfree Sam. Robo Sam. This is a Sam who found the justifiable logic in allowing his brother to get turned by a vamp and didn’t feel bad for it one little bit. So I had to work through the thought process of how someone who doesn’t care…could desire something.
Dean: You’re not Sam. It’s your body and your brain, but…it’s not you. So stop pretending and do us both a favor.
Cas said that Dean posed an interesting philosophical question about if Sam was really Sam without his soul. I think the answer Dean has come to realize is yes and no. Biologically, he’s Sam. Dental records would show that he was born Sam Winchester. He has Sam’s scars and Sam’s memories. But that’s where the likeness ends. Everything that made him Dean’s brother is gone. And no amount of apologies or empty promises was going to convince Dean otherwise.
So, while I was sitting with that, the boys grabbed their guns and walked away from the Impala…and the distance between them was just…well, I noticed it. It wasn’t like when they walked away from the minivan in ELAC: not-quite-in-step, but still near enough to bump shoulders if one went crooked. This time, well, the Impala could have been between them.
Man!Lucky is pacing in front of a warehouse garage door. Dean is on the roof in sniper position, looking at Lucky through the scope. Sam is sitting on the roof beside him, filling a clip with silver bullets.
S: He looks nervous, right?
D: Wouldn’t you be?
S: I’d double-cross us. Best bet if he wants to keep breathing.
D: Nah, he’ll go through with it.
S (as if he’s trying to understand why): ‘Cause he loves that family?
After a pause, Sam repeats decisively, “I’d double-cross us.”
D: Thanks, Dexter. That’s reassuring.
HA! Ha ha HA! Dexter! I think I heard cackles from several people across the country at that one.
S: Just making conversation.
An SUV pulls up. About six men climb out. Sam twists around and peers through binoculars, spoting the Big Guy Man!Lucky was talking to that night. They spot the boss, but Dean can’t get a clean shot. Then suddenly, one of the guys grabs Amanda and her little boy from the back of the SUV. She’s clutching her son to her and looks terrified. Crap.
S: Take the shot.
D: I’m trying—she’s in the way.
S: Take it anyway!
Dean jerks his eyes to the side, unable to believe what he just heard. The baddies and Amanda all head inside and the door closes. Dean curses under his breath.
S: So, Plan B?
D: We’ve got one?
Dean, sweetie, I think it’s time to realize that your little brother always has a Plan B now.
Inside it’s a big bully fest with Amanda asking them to let her son go. The Big Guy tells Man!Lucky that the boss is mad because Lucky didn’t have permission for those murders and he was going to screw up The Plan. So, to prove his loyalty to The Plan they want Lucky to turn Amanda and her son while they watch—or they’re going to kill them all.
In that moment, Sam steps in and starts shooting. He kills the boss and a few others and then we see Dean in the back of the room, picking them off with the sniper rifle.
So, Plan B = crossfire. Nice one, guys!
Amanda and her son hide and Man!Lucky shows up and pulls them away from the fray and hides them in some kind of office, telling her to bolt the door, which she does, then she tucks her son under the desk. Meanwhile, Sam is chasing one skinwalker, who turns into a Doberman and starts stalking Sam.
A wolf spots Dean and Dean tries to turn and fire, but the barrel of the sniper rifle gets stuck in the support he’d been steadying it against and the wolf lunges. Dean pulls out his pistol and BLAM—dead skinwalker. Whew. In a similar turn of events, the Doberman spots Sam, lunges and Sam turns and fires. Whew again.
Lucky is trying to protect Amanda and her son from the Big Guy and morphs into his dog form to do it. Big Guy wings Lucky, but Dean gets Big Guy with sniper shot before the Big Guy can move in for the kill. Sam spots wounded Lucky (in dog form) on the ground and checks his clip, seeing that he has one bullet left.
Now, ya’ll…I know. Skinwalker. Not. Really. A. Dog. But he looked like a dog and I have two dogs and dogs are just—well, they usually survive all of the worst disaster movies and when they don’t (I Am Legend, I’m looking at you) I pretty much decide then and there to hate the movie. So, if Sam had shot Lucky in dog form, I would have howled.
But, as luck would have it (no pun intended), Lucky got away before Sam got to him. Whew for the last time.
Amanda saw Sam, though, and her eyes went wide when she recognized him. Sometime later, Man!Lucky shows up at Amanda’s door, heart on sleeve, very I come in peace. He says that Amanda and her son are the only family he’s ever had and…he knows what he is. But no one has ever been nice to him before and he wanted to thank her.
Then she TOTALLY destroys the poor skinwalker’s heart by saying, “Get away from this house, you psycho.”
Lucky nods, like he deserved that and worse (I mean…he did kill her bf and two other people), and leaves—turning into a dog on his way out. I had this odd…almost sad feeling. There seems to be a dark-side-of-the-mirror theme to the question what makes us human this season: what makes a monster.
Or, maybe that’s just me.
They guys are in a park somewhere with sacks of food and find a picnic table to eat at. Dean glances at a jogger with a Border Collie and says he’ll never look at a dog the same.
D: Makes you wonder how many packs are out there. Wonder if they’re just…waiting for the signal.
Um, exactly. And I’m thinking not just skinwalkers. But vamps, djinn…all manner of baddie. I mean, I think that Freaky Assed Vamp Dream isn’t done coming back to us just because Crowley now has the Alpha Vamp. I think there’s more to it. And I think stopping the signal (which is so anti-Browncoat, but what can you do) is going to be another part of this puzzle of a season.
This time, we get a picnic in the park for our heart-to-heart, not on or in the Impala. They changed it up a bit. It was a really pretty setting—gorgeous day for a revelation. I notice Sam’s face looked…smooth. Sometimes when he does ‘emotionless’ it looks sinister. But this time he looked peaceful. As if coming to the decision of putting it all on the table with Dean was the solace he didn’t even know he was looking for. Not that someone who doesn’t feel needs solace—just that to me, that’s how he appeared.
Dean, though, good Lord. The light hit his face perfectly, turning his eyes almost gray. The lines around his mouth and eyes were like frames for a picture of futile resistance, reluctant acceptance, and wary relief. I need screen caps and I need them now.
S: You were right. I’m not your brother. I’m not “Sam.”
D (his body going still, his voice uncertain): Okay….
S: All that blah blah blah about being the old me? Crap.
(He actually said blah blah blah, which had me smirking.)
Dean does a slow head tilt—he’s finally hearing the truth and it’s starting to tip his world a bit sideways. I half expected him to grip the table for balance, but he barely moves anything other than his head and eyes.
S: Like…Lisa and Ben. I’ve been acting like I care about them. But I don’t. I couldn’t care less.
D: Is this supposed to make me feel better?
S: You wanted the real me—this is it. I don’t care about them. I don’t even care about you, except that I need your help. And you’re clearly not gonna stick around for much longer unless I give it to you straight.
He continues to speak in a very detached, matter-of-fact tone that is visibly hard for Dean to take. The basic way he spreads it out there for Dean hits harder than I think Dean was prepared for. He watches Sam the whole time, his eyes almost never leaving his face, but his body pulls in and away as if he’s holding his breath or bracing himself. Or both.
S: So…I’ve done a lot worse than you know. I’ve killed innocent people in the line of duty, but I’m pretty sure it’s not something the old me could have done. Maybe I should feel guilty. But I don’t.
D (sounding like he’s been kicked in the gut): Get to the punch line, Sam.
S: I don’t know if how I am is better or worse. It’s different. You get the job done and nothing really hurts. Not the worst thing. But I’ve been thinking. I was that other Sam for a long time. And it was harder. But there were things I remember…. Let’s just say I should probably go back to being him.
So, wow. Okay. First? This way may be simply ‘different’ – but I’m also going to vote ‘worse’ because…killing innocent people? Yikes.
But this was the first moment I believed Sam all season. I think that before the whole “he’s got us by the short and curlies” and “we don’t have a choice if we’re going to get my soul back” approach to working for Crowley was simply lip service. He wanted to hunt, he wanted to do the job, and if that meant getting orders from a demon, well, so what? The job went better with Dean around, so he’d say “let’s get my soul back” if that kept Dean in the game.
But now he’s saying that he remembers it was harder as the old Sam, and he wants to go back there—despite the fact that he doesn’t feel any pain this way. Because he’s gotta know if they win, and he gets it back, he’s probably gonna feel a whole lot of pain. Not just “I’ve been to Hell” pain. But the pain of simply being human. Even those of us who live utterly happy lives have experienced pain. We’ve just learned to put it someplace where it doesn’t swamp us.
Like Dean—if he allowed himself to feel the pain of Hell, he’d curl up in a dark corner and wish for death. Or forget Hell—the pain of his life. Of losing his mother and his childhood and his choices and his father and his brother. He’s learned to live with that, the wounds scabbing over again and again. Scar tissue burying memories.
So, after over a year of being soulless and pain free, when Sam gets it back, Hell or no Hell, I’d imagine it should suck big time to remember how to deal with human emotions. They’re pretty much the most powerful thing on Earth. Especially considering he effectively just admitted to murder (though he said ‘in the line of duty’…).
My only thing is—and I’m just putting this out there—I hope that the Show doesn’t take the compare/contrast pain route with either Sam’s time in Hell or the return of his soul. It’s going to hurt and that should be enough. I really, really hope they don’t compare Sam’s pain to Dean’s pain. Because pain is pain.
I lose and arm, you lose an eye—who got hurt worse? What if I was a baseball player and you were a singer? What if you were a model and I was a voice-over talent? You simply can’t say. And I hope Show doesn’t say, either.
While I believe he was sincere, I also think he was still manipulating Dean—bottom line, Sam wants to get the Alphas. Currently, that means working for Crowley. Now I believe his motivation is because he wants his soul back, but I didn’t really believe that at the start of the episode.
Dean doesn’t want to work for a demon, and knowing that, Sam found a way to get exactly what he wanted by choosing the correct words to convince his brother. Now, I’m not saying that this manipulation was malicious or that Dean wouldn’t want Sam to get his soul back anyway. I’m just saying I see how good Sam is at this and while I believe what he said, I still am not sure I trust him completely. Like Dean, I’m going to be watching him every minute.
D: That’s…very interesting.
He looks down, nodding a bit.
D: It’s a step.
D: We do what we gotta do. Help me get my brother back.
That last line sunk me. I want Dean to have his brother back so bad. I miss the Sam I Remember. I miss Sam. The Sam that Dean gave up everything for. Dean’s brother. And while “do what we gotta do” might mean that Dean won’t fight against working for Crowley…it could also mean that he’s willing to try any means possible.
Bartering with Balthazar, for example. I’m just saying…this is the Supernatural universe. There are other possibilities. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.
I did watch previews, though, and holy cow—I don’t know what to expect. However, I was grinning.
See you next week!