Gaelicspirit (gaelicspirit) wrote,

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Stream of Consciousness, Recap/Review, Episode 7.07

Hey ya’ll. Thanks for waiting on this one! Completed 10 miles in my training yesterday, so I needed the extra day to watch our boys and Ramble On. I haven’t read anything posted about the episode, so some of this will be old territory covered for some of you. Hope it’s worth the wait. The show sure was.
*loves our show*

So in the THEN we saw all the Amy stuff. I have to say I am so glad we have The Amy Secret out in the open and both boys dealing with what happened – mainly because there’s only so long a plot of that kind can be stretched before it starts to fray, but also because there’s so much more going on with both of them than just this one instance. We need to see that stuff – the hallucinations and Hell vision and the nightmares and depression and trust issues. Not the I Know What You Did Last Hunt secret stuff.
Before I get to the NOW, though, I have to work out a couple of things that this episode spun around in me. They used a plot devise I like to employ in a lot of my stories – that of the case itself and/or the subtext of the case sharing a lesson with the brothers about themselves. A ‘this could easily be you’ from either a good or bad perspective. A way for them to get the point without having to live the point.
It can easily be a contrived plot devise, one that drops an ACME-sized anvil on the reader/watcher, but in this instance, I think it was expertly employed. We got the point, the boys got the point and we were able to make headway with some healing and some reveals of truth – all without a punch thrown. *wink* The whole episode harkened back to the pacing and rhythm of earlier seasons where hunting the MotW wasn’t directly related to the over-arching season plot, but still managed to thread together some critical elements that our heroes so desperately needed.
Also, I kinda feel like the universe might be trying to tell me something. I said to a friend earlier this week that I could almost see myself letting go of some of the angst I carry around with me about my sister (who hates me and hurt me over a misunderstanding) – except for Supernatural. The way this show constantly reminds us about our relationships – be they sibling or otherwise – and how important those relationships can be makes it impossible for me to set my pain aside and move on. I’m not exactly sure what I should do about it…but I can’t seem to let it go. And there came a moment in this episode where I felt a rush of relief – as if I’d been the one to have the cathartic speech.
It’s amazing that for characters who aren’t real – and who are brought to us by the delicate combination of performance and writing – they are able to trigger so much real-life thought and feeling.
The NOW opened at a séance, a Ouija board in the center of the table, a severe-looking medium sitting at the triangle point between a couple – the willing wife and the skeptical husband. They’re trying to reach out to “Uncle Danny” and as the medium and the wife put their hands on the planchette (is that right?) it moves to the ‘yes’ to indicate that the spirit they seek is indeed there. The curtains in front of the closed window stir. ‘Danny’ knocks twice for yes. All the bells and whistles.
The wife wants to know if ‘Sadie’ there with him and the husband about sprains something rolling his eyes. I thought it was funny that Sadie turned out to be the family schnauzer as that’s the name of one of Jared’s dogs (and, yes, I heard about Harley *sad*). Skeptical husband is skeptical as he demands Danny stop “screwing around” and tell them where the important papers were. He puts his hands on the planchette…and then things get weird.
The lights flicker, the fire surges, light bulbs burst. The spirit is Not Happy, apparently. Just then, the planchette starts moving on its own, all three of them staring at it in horror. Without warning, it levitates, flies through the air, and stabs the medium in the throat. ACK! I think I’d be swearing off Ouija boards after that. Important papers or not.
Next thing we see is Dean, carrying a bag of fast food, checking his phone – no messages. He closes the phone with a frustrated, disappointed expression, then pauses in front of a Dodge (looked like an early ‘70’s model Charger, but I could be wrong) painted baby blue and primer gray. Behind the parked car is a sign with ‘Raleigh’ something on it, so I figure he must have been in North Carolina. It’s not clear at this point how long it’s been since the boys parting at that pier, but Dean’s put some miles under him since Ankeny.
And since he boosts this Dodge, he’s apparently done so by hopping from car to car. He climbs inside and wrinkles his nose in disgust at the piles of trash and fast-food bags balled up on the front seat (also put me in the mind of a certain orange Nova) muttering, “Have some pride.” He hotwires the car and the radio comes on. He tears the fuzzy dice from the rear-view window, throwing them in the back as he grimaces at the too-peppy DJ telling him that he’s listening to Morning Chaos with Bananas Bosner.
Dean: Hell I am, asshat.
Just as he’s about to turn off the radio, though, Bananas starts his report about ‘news of the weird’ and the strange deaths of two psychics in Lily Dale, NY – hilariously commenting that they should have seen it coming. Heh. With a small head bounce of guess I know what I’m doing next, Dean backs out and, presumably heads to Lily Dale.
Being a detail-oriented person, I filled in a blank there that he stopped back at whatever hotel he was crashing at to get his bags – since he didn’t have any with him when he snaked the car, and he shows up in different clothes the next time we see him. It’s probably totally unnecessary to go there, but my brain does it anyway. *shrugs*
When he shows up in Lily Dale, he’s in a suit and is showing the crime scene guys a badge – which I guess answers my question last week of if they’d play FBI again. I guess either Frank worked up some new fake IDs when he turned them in into Tom and John Smith (still wonder which is who and who is which), or they just did it themselves – sans rock aliases (*sad*).
Moving carefully around the room, Dean looks behind the curtains and under the table, revealing all the little buzzers and switches the medium had used in her little show to give the impression of the spirits reaching out from beyond the veil. Still bent under the table, Dean sees the switch that moves the planchette around the Ouija board and asks the “spirits of the further” if he’s going to win the Powerball.
When he straightens up, there’s no one left in the room to appreciate his humor. Poor Dean. He leaves the crime scene and starts to explore Lily Dale, glancing at the various signs for psychic readings, his lips tipped downward in an expression of oooookay. He sees a large sign advertising Lily Dale’s annual psychic festival, three images on it. The center pic is the medium that was garroted by the planchette. He heads inside the building the sign is out in front of.
It’s a diner called Good Graces where the special of the day is You. Oh, boy. I had to join Dean in the eye roll at that one.  He steps up to the counter and the waiter calls it as his first time in their establishment. Dean gives him a tight, how’d you guess smile as the waiter says they are, “locally sourced by our dynamic and you get a free affirmation with ever order.”
Dean’s look = Um. What?
He says he’ll check out the taco joint and turns to leave when he hears a voice. Sam’s voice to be exact. He freezes for a moment, the look on his face that of someone who just had the air sucked out of them through their navel, then squares his shoulders, rotates, and heads over to where Sam is sitting, looking through a file.
This whole exchange is a perfect dance between these two and Jared and Jensen played their roles beautifully. Dean, desperate for normal, acts as normal as he can while his walls are about as strong as a fractured egg shell. His humor shimmers over a calm so forced it’s about as malleable as metal and doesn’t stop moving – barely stops talking long enough to breathe. He can’t afford to allow Sam to chase him away, not now. Not like this.
Sam, desperate for a totally different normal, is strained and stiff. His answers are clipped, his face tight. He looks pissed and hurt, irritated and uncomfortable. He wants to be anywhere than where he is now, with anyone else. But there’s something that won’t let him walk away. There’s something about Dean that keeps Sam right where he is.
As a total aside, what is the deal with Sam’s sideburns? They’re almost…distracting. I’ve never been a sideburns gal. Can’t say I’m much of a fan here, either. /random hair rant
Dean approaches the table quickly, his grin the same one he gives to strangers. “Always wear a suit to get your palm read?”
Sam looks up, shock fading to uncertainty, his expression eventually settling somewhere between angry and annoyed.
Dean: Not surprised you caught this one. It’s on every morning zoo in America.
He asks to sit down, but doesn’t wait for an answer.  Before Sam can say anything, Dean starts running down what he’s found out so far about the case, as if they’d just been separated for the morning, gathering intel. Sam stares at him. Dean ignores the angry eyes burning holes in him and rambles on.
Dean: When’s the last time you saw a real psychic? Pamela? Missouri? (Took me a fraction of a second to realize he meant the person, not the state.) How you been? (This last is asked as if he’s run out of steam.)
The waiter who greeted Dean steps up to take his order. Dean orders ‘pancakes with a side of pig, black coffee.’
The waiter smiles, nods, then says, “You are virile manifestation of the Divine.”
Why yes. Yes he is.
Dean gapes after the waiter, then looks at Sam with a look like I’m gonna kick that guy's ass…I think, asking, “What did he say to me?”
Sam gets this helpless, half-grin he always wears when Dean is just…socially inept and slightly “uncool.” (As if Dean could ever be uncool….*wink*)
Dean: Laugh it up, Sam. Hilarious.
Sam (sobering, remembering that he’s still Very Angry): Dean.
Dean (both sarcastic and relieved): Oh. He speaks.
Sam: Look.
Dean (recognizing that tone…the one Sam had in Chicago when he said he was leaving when this was all over…the one Sam had in River Park, CO, when Sam said they needed to go their separate ways…the one where Sam is Very Angry and more focused on getting away from Dean than on fixing whatever is wrong): Sam. We’re both here. The chance of either of us leaving while people are still dying out there? Nill. You might as well bite the bullet and work with me on this one.
*rubs heart* They both made my heart whimper a bit in this episode, but Dean’s desperation to make it all just…okay actually made it ache. I recognized that need.
Sam: I don’t know if I can.
Erg. This irked me. It all works out in the end, and the thing is, Sam was totally justified in being Very Angry. He was. Dean screwed up. But leaving? Staying angry like this? Saying he didn’t think he could work with Dean? Over this screw up? After everything that had transpired between them, everything Sam had been through, everything he knew Dean had gone through…the fact that he was hanging on to his anger in this manner just…irked me.
It’s a lot more than just Sam. It’s the fact that this show puts this invisible overlay onto my life. I haven’t talked to my sister in over a year and despite two letters reaching out to her, she refuses to have anything to do with me. I forgave her a long time ago, but the longer this goes on the more my feelings shift, running a circuit from anger to forgiveness to weariness to disinterest, and circling back up to anger once more.
Family. It can drive you crazy if you let it.
Dean: I’m not asking you to open up a can of worms. I’m not even asking you where you’ve been for the last week and a half.
Gah! Week and a half! Wow. Well, if nothing else, this break should show Dean that Sam really has managed to find a way to deal with Hellvision and hit on at least 7 of 8 cylinders. He’s functioning, healthy, and able to do his job. However, knowing that you’re not needed as a caretaker anymore when that’s the role you’ve held off and on (more on than off) for so long, can be just as unsettling as it can be reassuring.
Sam (jaw working overtime as he spits out the word): Good.
Dean: I’m just saying…let’s try and stop the killings.
Aside – his eyes looked so green in this scene. Good Lord.
Sam: Okay.
Just then a woman walking by their table stops dead, thinks they’re the Winchesters, and reaches for her phone. Hurriedly they tell her the whole ‘we get that a lot’ speech and remind her that the actual Winchesters were ‘put down like the dogs they are.’ The woman is reassured and laughs apologetically, saying she could see by their ‘energy’ that they are gentle (ha!), but it did have me wondering if they got that when they were apart…and also a little sad that the name ‘Winchester’ was now synonymous with ‘serial killer.’
A rugged-looking Russian man named Nikoli (also pictured on the Lily Dale Psychic Festival sign) comes over, IDs them as FBI and gives Sam his card, offering his help with the case (as he and the woman both admit to being ‘broken up’ by the tragic events). Nikoli, it turns out, is a World Famous Spoon Bender.
Guess he didn’t get the memo that there is no spoon.
Dean has his WTF look down as he regards Nikoli, watching as the Russian guides the woman away from their table. As they leave, he makes a joke that Sam either totally ignores or totally misses as he opens the case file. Sighing a slightly put-out sigh, Dean shifts into investigator mode and listens as Sam talks him through what’s in the files. The first medium, an Imelda Graven, was “brained” by her own crystal ball – which Dean declares is ironic. Hee.
They both zero in on the fact that both mediums were wearing the same necklace and think it could be a cursed object. As they decide what to do next, Sam picks up his spoon to stir his coffee…and it bends. In his hand. Sam looks pissed. Dean just looks.
They head to the 2nd medium’s next of kin: her granddaughter Melanie. As they arrive, Mel’s saying goodbye to a friend (who, it turns out, is another psychic named Camille Tribideaux). She invites them inside and says she knows they’re here about her grandmother. She apparently just got back from “working the circuit.” Dean comments that she doesn’t seem psychic – no crystals, no pyramids. She says she’s off the clock. Also, she’s not psychic.
Mel: It’s an honest living.
Dean: Interesting definition of honest.
Gaelic: Interesting that someone who has to lie to do his job would crack down on that.
Mel: I honestly read people through body language.
She gives them an example by ‘reading’ them: long-time partners, but there’s lots of tension. Sam = pissed, Dean = stressed. Yep. That sounds about right.
Apparently Mel and her grandma didn’t really get along because Mel didn’t believe in “that stuff.” Dean tells her that he’s got an open mind, but Sam breaks in (evidently having heard enough) and asks her about the necklace. She tells them that everything her grandma used in her show went to “the emporium,” which is apparently just a fancy name for “pawn shop of magic stuff.”
They head to the pawn shop and ask about the necklace (prompting some sarcastic comments from Jimmy The Owner).
Jimmy: Did you know that this is the Orb of Thesilie?
Dean: We did not know.
Hee. I don’t know why, but his tone made me chuckle.
Jimmy tries to sell it to them, but they play the FBI card and thank him for cooperating. Sam reaches for the necklace and Jimmy grabs his hand. Sam looks pissed. If he were a cat, he would have hissed.
Jimmy ignores Sam’s glare and says that he gives private readings. “Loss weighs on you. You’re angry. It’s complicated.”
He gives Sam his card and tells him to come see him. Card: Jimmy Tomorrow, no future too grim. I would have cackled had the card spelled grim with two m’s…wouldn’t put that poke past the writers.
Dean watches this exchange, and as Sam pockets the card he looks down with a sad, suppressed smile. As they head outside, Sam holding the necklace, Dean says, “He went a little ‘Mentalist’ on you, didn’t he?”
Sam ignores the opening that Dean provides him and grumbles that the “Orb” was made in Taiwan, so no cursed object and they head for the Charger (I’m just going with that for now until someone corrects me) knowing that whoever is killing mediums is still running amuck.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Lily Dale, Nikoli the Spoon Bender is practicing. He has a drawer full of cutlery spread out before him on a coffee tab le. He picks up a fork and bends it – with his hands. Suddenly, all of the knives, forks, and spoons stand up on end. Freaky. As Nikoli stands, trying to back away, a force levitates him, hovering him over the silverware, then drops him down on top of it, skewering him. Blech. Very, very blech.
Sometime later, the boys are at the crime scene, staring at the bloody table and left behind silverware.
Dean: Probably should have bent those with the power of his mind.
Ignoring him (there’s a lot of that in this episode), Sam walks off to talk to the sheriff, since he’d apparently talked with him before. He introduces Dean as “Agent Bourne.” Yeah, I could see Dean as a Jason Bourne. *likes it* He asks the sheriff if he has any idea what happened.
The sheriff, looking at Sam like, are you slow? says that Nikoli got a chest full of cutlery and reveals that he has a tip line full of clairvoyants who all say that it was a ghost or an ogre who only goes after Russians.
Dean: Policing Lily Dale sounds fun.
Sheriff: Either this or L.A.
Dean gives him a yeah, you’ve got me there nod as Sam brings the focus back around to the facts, his voice clipped as if he’s clenching his back teeth in an effort not to bite his brother’s head off. Sheriff says that Nikoli apparently had a vision of his own death. Just then, Dean’s phone rings – it’s Melanie Golden wanting to know if Dean meant what he said when he told her he had an open mind.
So, the boys head over to Mel’s and she’s telling them that she had a voicemail from her Grandma – before she died. She just never checks her landline and so didn’t get it until now. Turns out Grandma had a vision of her death, too. The day she died. She tells them what the message says and Sam picks up on the fact that the room got cold.
He gives Dean a knowing look and it’s the first time he’s acted…normal…around Dean the whole episode. It’s as if he’s caught up in the discovery of the fact that it’s a ghost and they know what to do about it for a moment and forgets that he’s supposed to be Very Angry at his brother. Dean tells Mel that it’s a ghost killing people. The real deal. Mel’s like c’mon, you’re not serious. Dean just looks at her.
And Oh. My. God. That look. The way he just steadily holds her eyes with an I couldn’t be more serious expression. My tummy kinda flipped over with that expression. /random I heart Dean rant
Dean: See, there’s fake “woo-woo” crap, and there’s real “woo-woo” crap.
Mel: So, ghosts?
Dean: Trust me, there’s a lot weirder stuff out there.
Mel: So the X-files is real, or you just stopped talking like FBI Agents.
Sam: We’re…not FBI Agents.
Mel: I need a drink.
Dean: I support that
HA! Even with Sam’s irritated glance, that was funny. This is the second episode in a row where we don’t see Dean drink, but it’s talked about. So, like with the fact that he must have stopped by to pick up his clothes, we may be left to assume that he does still drink…we just don’t see every moment of every day. Which would be okay – if they plan on doing something about it eventually to balance out why they paid so much attention to it in the previous episodes…because it’s not all about Amy. It can’t be. *stomps foot*
As they leave Mel’s, Dean comments that this is not your average spirit – it’s boogying all over town. Sam’s like, “I’m not surprised. How many crystal balls do you think are in Lily Dale?”
Dean: Somewhere between 50 and…all of them.
Ha! He makes me chuckle even when I’m tense.
They talk over the top of the Charger that crystal balls are basically like ghost satellite dishes and that this place is packed with people calling spirits.
Dean: It’s like looking for a needle in a stack of fake needles.
Sam: Some of these guys have real juice, too. Enough to make it complicated.
The thing I was noticing, though, wasn’t that they were going to have to find the right medium who is controlling the ghost – it was that they were having a real conversation. For a moment.
Dean suggests they go hit up all the ‘Miss Cleo’s’ in town, but Sam says they should split up and canvass – then leaves before Dean can protest. Dean’s face is basically a myriad of confusion, disappointment, and acceptance as he gets into the car.
Elsewhere, Camille Tribideaux is reading bones (yes, bones) and using a Cajun-ish accent to tell her customer that her brother is turning jail into a habit. As the woman looks disappointed, Camille says, “Family is a pain in the ass, anyhow.”
Yes, well. They certainly can be.
After her customer leaves, however, Camille has a vision of her own death – the cuckoo clock strikes 2 and she’s strangled. Moments later (it seemed), her doorbell rings and Dean and Melanie are standing on the porch.
Camille: Phony lawman, huh?
Dean tosses a brick at her glass house, saying, “’Cause nobody can relate to phony around here….”
She’s basically like, if you can help, you can call yourself The Pope for all I care. She tells them about her vision, and is clearly rattled. Dean reassures her, then starts looking around with Shawn Spencer-like observation skills. He sees a creepy tribal mask with a camera for an eye on the wall and asks her if there’s any chance “good lookin’” was watching. They take the mask down and watch the feed on a computer, seeing, suddenly, a woman in a black dress behind Camille, touching her head when she had the vision.
Creepy. I’m easily influenced, but…that was creepy.
Melanie says she thinks she saw the ghost in a photo at the museum. So, the boys head to the museum. They’re looking around when a tour comes through and listen briefly as the “guide” shows people some ectoplasm. Sam rolls his eyes and leaves the room. Dean follows and in the background you can hear the guide saying, “And we’re walking, we’re walking.” *laughs*
They boys end up in a room filled with pics of “sibling acts.” Without warning, the guide shows up and gives them some unsolicited (but very helpful) intel on the pics. He says that it never ended well for the siblings. Either the strain of working together or being around each other so much tore them apart. I found that interesting. In my reply to a comment to last week’s Ramble, I said this:
“[Sam and Dean] are with each other All. The. Time. The only person I'm around that much is my husband and I only share 12 years of experiences with him. I have no secrets from him now, but he didn't know me for the first 25 years of my life. I've told him the stories, but they're just stories to him. My interpretation.
My siblings, whom I don't spend time around, know all those early stories intimately. They lived them. And now I am desperate to keep secrets from them. I cling to the identity I've created for myself that rolls those stories inside of it, but isn't defined by those stories.

Sam and Dean know each other's stories and are STILL side by side, now. 28 years of togetherness. No chance for redefining identities, for rolling who they were into who they are but not being defined by previous actions.

Maybe this current rash of secret keeping in their adult years is just their way of trying to find who they are while living in each other's pockets.”
I thought about that when the guide was speaking. Then he continues on to say that the one sibling act that worked was the Campbell brothers. Just when I thought they were going to go into the boys’ genealogy in some way – hearkening back to Mary’s blood line and Sam’s Azaezel-given powers – the guide reveals that the Campbell’s got along so well because they weren’t really siblings. It was a cover to hide their “alternate lifestyle.”
I wonder why they used the name ‘Campbell’ though. *frowns…shrugs* Ah, well.
The boys have twin “uh….huh” expression as the guide finishes speaking. Then Sam points out the picture of two sisters – one of whom was the ghost. I thought it was funny that Sami pointed it out as he wasn’t the one to see the ghost on the vid, but whatever. The guide tells them that the pic is of the Foxx sisters, Kate and Margaret. And here’s where the plot devise I spoke of earlier kicks in. Kate, the younger sister, had the talent. She could levitate objects and foretell one’s death. But she was troubled.
Margaret, the elder sister, was not a natural psychic.
Dean breaks in: So, full of crap.
*rubs heart* Part of me knew he wasn’t just saying that because of the fake psychic extravaganza around him. He saw the similarities in the stories even before the guide continued – and it dug at him. He was talking about himself there.
Guide: She didn’t have her sister’s charisma, but she looked after Kate. Sometimes one’s true gift is taking care of others.
Dean’s face flinches and he closes his eyes briefly. I felt a real pang for him then, especially now as I work my way back through the story. I’ll get to this in a bit, but the subtext of similarities between the Foxx sisters and the Winchester brothers goes beyond (IMO) just the older being the caretaker, younger one having the powers.
Dean asks what happened to them and the guide says they lived in Lily Dale all their lives. Tells them that the sisters are buried in the cemetery. Sam’s face closes up; he’s heard what he needed to.
Sam: Thanks. That was very educational. Thank you. Dean.
He walks off with a distinct air of Finally! A solution! We can close this up and part ways again! Dean turns to follow him when the guide grabs his arm. Dean looks down at the guide’s hand and up at the guide with dangerous eyes but before he can say anything, the guide asks him if he knows an Elenore or an Ellen. Dean blinks, then gapes, speechless.
Guide: She’s very concerned about you. She wants to tell you, “If you don’t tell someone how bad it really is, she’ll kick your ass from beyond. You have to trust someone again, eventually.”
I LOVED THAT. My only regret was that Sam didn’t hear it. I wish so bad Sam had been within earshot. Because this shows that it’s so much more than just Amy. There is more eating away at Dean than just lying to Sam, feeling guilty about keeping this secret from him.

It’s everything – it’s not getting a break, not even one. It’s never having really left Hell behind. It’s nightmares of breaking on the rack, of starting the apocalypse.  It’s losing Lisa and Ben. It’s living for months with Soulless Sam. It’s dying to get Sam’s soul back. It’s being afraid every day that Sam’s wall would crack. It’s watching helplessly as his best friend broke his brother. It’s not saving his friend. It’s coming so close to saving people he loves only to be beaten down again and again and again. It’s Bobby losing everything. It’s Sam going crazy in front of him. It’s preferring to drive him and Sam off a pier than live in a world where he loses one more person he loves. It’s being so very very very very very tired.
The guide releases Dean’s arm with a cheery, “Don’t forget to visit the gift shop,” then leaves Dean with his head spinning. Dean heads out where Sam is waiting, clearly wanting to tell his brother about what just happened. He’s spun enough from the information that it was a message from Ellen that I think he might’ve actually even told Sam what she’d said. But Sam is all dig up bones, get ‘er done. He walks away from Dean, not letting his brother speak.
Dean: Hold up just a damn minute. Enough with ‘just the facts.’
Sam (turning to face him): We agreed—
Dean: To work the case, not for you to be a dick the whole time.
My stomach was so tense in this moment – not just because of what they might say to each other, but because of what fandom might say about what they say to each other. Instinctively, I tried to see it from Sam’s perspective – he’d been hurt, he felt betrayed, he wasn’t over that yet. He didn’t accept Dean’s apology (which I suppose is his right, though that stung on a very personal level). He’d been barely hanging on, needing to trust in his “stone #1” and felt that had been yanked out from under him. So, he was Very Angry. I got it. I understood.
But my heart gravitated toward Dean. And he broke it with every word because I saw his pain. I felt it. I was right there with him, each sentence as his eyes lit up with his own anger and his jaw tensed with his own pain and he finally laid himself open to Sam after all the quiet guilt and the week and a half of being apart.
Sam: What?!
Dean: You’re pissed. And you’ve got a right.
Sam: Damn straight.
Dean: But enough’s enough.
Sam (voice trembling, barely able to keep his voice below a yell): Says who? I’ll work this damn case. But you lied to me. And you killed my friend.
As he walked away, I realized my face was hot. The guys both play my heart differently, but the self righteousness in Sam’s words burned my throat. For one who lives in so much gray when it comes to everyone else, he’s awfully black and white when it comes to Dean. Dean lied, yes, but Sam’s not innocent of that by a long shot. Dean killed Amy, but Sam defining her as his friend felt a bit of a stretch. He met her once, for about a minute, and he was about to kill her himself before he changed his mind when he heard her reasons why she’d started killing again.
Dean: No, I put down a monster who had killed four people and if you didn’t know her you’d have done the same thing.
Sam: I did know her.
Dean: Which is why you couldn’t do it. Look, I get it. There are certain people in this world no matter how dangerous they are, you just can’t—
Sam (giving up the pretense and yelling now): Don’t pull that card! That’s bull! If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that if something feels wrong, it probably is.
*rubs heart* Gah, Sam. That’s all he’s got, really. What he feels. It’s the only way he can really tell what’s real and what isn’t. He’d have a right to be Very Angry anyway, but this makes my heart break for him.
Dean: Killing Amy was not wrong. You couldn’t do it, so I did. And I would have told you. Eventually. Once I knew that this whole waving a gun at Satan thing was a one-time show. I think it’s reasonable to want to know you’re off the freakin’ high-dive, Sam. You almost got us both killed. You can be pissed all you want. But quit being a bitch.
*stands and applauds* Oh, damn, that felt good.
He never told Sam to stop being angry. He never told him he was wrong for being angry. He just told him to man up, be angry, and work it out. They are brothers. Partners. They keep each other alive. They have sacrificed so much for each other. There is no reason that this one thing should drive a permanent wedge between them. And I’m not calling it a ‘thing’ to lessen its importance, because it is a big deal. But it’s one big deal in a history of big deals. It’s one big deal in a relationship where a blanket apology has been uttered over the grave of a fallen comrade. Where the realization that walking away, leaving, was wrong. Where life and death struggles are a way of life and they fight monsters who look like people and people who act like monsters.
Dean is ready to take the beating he as much as says that Sam is justified in giving out. But he’s not willing to lose Sam over this and he’s not willing to let Sam go. Be angry all you want, but stop being a bitch. Oh my stars, how I want to say that to my sister.
We’re family. Get over yourself long enough to work it out. *takes breath*
Dean walks off and Sam watches him go. Next thing you know it’s night and they’re digging up Kate’s grave – having figured her as the ghost due to the whole troubled, levitating, foretelling death deal.
Sam: I get why she’s killing people. I just don’t get why she’s warning them.
This should have given me the clue I needed, but…I was slow. I bet you all caught on waaaay before me.
Dean (his voice shrugging): Give them a taste of the curse, maybe? (glances down at Sam) Couldn’t have been a joyride.
Sam breaks open the box. Dean has the lighter fluid, Sam has the salt, they start pouring it in. Just then, Kate shows up out of nothing and shoves Sam, hard, away from the grave. She turns to Dean screeching, “Listen to me! Why isn’t anyone listening?!”
Dean tries to flick his lighter to life, but nothing – just like with Jo. I guess he hadn’t refueled it since he almost died…. Sam, thinking fast, lights a match and throws it into the grave, lighting the bones just as Kate’s ghost rushes Dean. Her bones burn and she flames up, for one brief moment engulfing Dean in fire. When she’s gone, the boys stare at each other, breathing hard.
Dean: Nice timing.
He calls Mel and tells her that the ghost is done. Mel is with Camille and tells her she can go home, but Camille is understandably scared, so Mel invites her over. They head back to Camille’s to grab a few things…of course it happens to be right around 2am. And as any of us could have guessed, Camille’s vision starts to play out. Mel calls Dean back, who tries to calm and reassure her first. Sam grabs the phone from Dean and tells him to just drive as he barks orders at Mel.
With a voice not to be argued with (reminding me very much of his father, actually), Sam orders her to go to the kitchen and get salt. As she does, the ghost shows up – obviously it’s Margaret – and she throws the salt at the ghost. But then the ghost shows up behind Camille and Sam tells her to find some iron. She grabs an andiron from the fireplace, whacks it through the ghost, but the ghost won’t be thwarted. She shoves some dresser thing at Mel, pinning her to the wall, then proceeds to kill Camille in front of Mel. There’s a distinct sound of breaking bones. Ack.
As the boys pull up to Camille’s house (which…Mel never actually told them where she was, so…*hand wave*), Melanie is stumbling outside, crying. Dean hurries forward and kind of enfolds her in his arms. That’s pretty much where I’d want to be if I’d just seen what she had. Inside Mel’s house, the boys are waiting for her to clean up and Dean is agitated, pacing, ticked off that they’d fallen for the good sis/bad sis crap and that Kate was just trying to warn people about her “evil bitch sister.”
Sam, trying to calm him, says, “All we can do now is go stop her.”
But for Dean, that’s not enough. Mel comes down, says she’s been better, and says she needs them to leave. They’re a bit surprised by this, but understand. Mel says that the biggest thing she remembered about the ghost was that she was dead-set on Camille…and she looked like she enjoyed killing her.
The boys head to Margaret’s grave, Dean saying he felt naked digging up the grave in the daylight. Uh, yeah. I would, too. Jeeze. Sam prepares to break open the box and Dean is all, “All right, Mags. My lighter is juiced this time.”
But as Sam breaks open the box…no. body. As Dean says, they were Geraldo’d. They realize that if someone has Margaret’s bones, that’s serious binding magic.
Sam: We need to find the bones.
Dean: And the bone head.
As they’re putting the shovels in the trunk of the Charger, Dean notices the flier for the Psychic Festival and realizes that all the lead acts are gone. If they’re all dead…who stands to gain. He heads to Mel’s house, points this fact out to her and they both realize that she would be next in line to replace her grandmother. So, Sam goes to Jimmy’s shop to find out who would have bought an ashwood altar recently (since he figures they wouldn’t be available at the Gas ‘n Sip).
Back at Mel’s, Dean puts her inside a salt ring. I have to admit, pretty much until the end, I sorta/kinda suspected that Mel was the person controlling the ghosts. Yes, even though she watched her friend get killed. There are ways of explaining all that stuff. But I’m really glad she wasn’t. I liked her. Which is also why I suspected her. *laugh*
Dean’s standing in the circle with Mel. She’s holding the andiron and she asks him if it hurts when they burn the ghost’s bones.
Dean (pauses, frowns): I never really thought about it. Probably, yeah.
Mel: Good.
Dean gives her a small, almost proud, definitely appreciative smile. Elsewhere, Sam breaks into a Las Mas class, gun raised, run by the woman who pegged them as those Winchesters at the beginning of all of this. Looking sheepish, he hurriedly backs out, then calls Dean declaring, “It’s the pawn shop guy! He goose-chased me to a pregnant yoga class!”
The next several minutes ratchet up the tension as they cut from Sam back to Dean. I dug it. Dean stays with Mel inside the salt ring. With Dean on the phone, Mel gasps. Dean turns, and the ghost is At. The. Window.
I don’t know why that was so creepy, man, but it was. I hunkered down a bit in my couch. I know. I’m easy.
Sam goes to the pawn shop and it’s closed, of course. He digs out Jimmy’s business card and finds the address, hunting down his apartment. He breaks in and the apartment is a total cluttered mess. Sam finds a human skull set on an altar. And suddenly there’s a gun at the base of his skull as Jimmy busts him.
Jimmy: Hi. Agent. Put the skull down.
In one of those bad-ass displays of skill these guys show off every so often, Sam disarms Jimmy and tries to tell him that this is enough. Back at Mel’s, the ghost blasts the windows open and breaks the salt line. Dean says something about that move that I didn’t catch, but I figured he’s now fallen victim to it twice, it must have been something about seeing that one coming. Margaret shows up and slams Dean back and away.
Back at Jimmy’s, he’s busy telling Sam that he’s the same as Margaret. They’re the real thing. But sometimes, the real thing isn’t pretty or entertaining enough.
Dean shoots Margaret, and she vanishes, but reappears and slams him back, hard.
Jimmy tells Sam, “When I show people what I’m capable of, it scares them.”
Mel lays down a new salt line and Margaret shows up. Dean struggles upright and hurries to Mel, telling her to get behind him.
Jimmy is still talking to Sam, obviously trying to talk him into distraction, saying that Margaret was happy to kill for him.

This was what I wondered if Dean carried away with him at the end – the fact that the older sister had the real power but lacked younger sister’s charisma…then became bitter and a killer because she was seen as full of crap and was never recognized for her true skills, always just as the one who took care of Kate. I wonder if he saw what could be, not what was, and took that to heart.
Because he’s not Mags. No matter what the subtle similarities are.
Sam: You’re sick.
Jimmy: Y’know what else I am? A real psychic, you dick bag.
He…uses the Force, or whatever real psychics do…and yanks the gun out of Sam’s hand.
Margaret breaks the floor, which breaks the salt line. Dean keeps trying to dispel her, but she keeps slamming him back, trying to get at Mel.
Sam is trying to talk Jimmy out of keeping this up, but to stop him, he has to shoot him. His face crumbles a bit at that, looking sick. He didn’t want to kill Jimmy. But he couldn’t allow him to keep killing people. And he had to save his brother’s life. *sad*
Dean is getting his butt kicked by Mags. One really good hit and he’s out.
Sam finds her bones in a bag on Jimmy’s bed.
Mags comes for Mel while Dean is down for the count. Starts to choke her as Dean fights to come around.
Sam burns the bones and Mags disappears in flames.
Whew. Seriously.
Next day, the boys are back at Good Graces for breakfast, Sam telling him about finding the bones in the bed.
Dean: In the bed. They were in the bed? Ack. (*insert little grin*) I can’t believe he was boning her.
Sam (wincing, little-brother tolerant grin): Dean!
Same waiter from before comes up and asks if they need anything else.
Dean: Just a refill and if you affirmate me, I’m gonna punch you in the face.
Sam looks away with a small I can’t believe you just said that smile. Dean keeps his eyes on the waiter with a I’m totally not kidding expression. Melanie walks in and Sam, bless him, says he’s going to “do something outside.” *pets him*
Mel wanted to thank him, but Dean says there’s no reason. She’s like, well, except for saving my life. Dean solemnly points out that he wasn’t able to save her friend, driving home that for him, despite all of this, it’s still and always about saving people, hunting things. Mel thanks him anyway and says that he and Sam seem better. She also knows that this is goodbye and wishes they’d met on a better week. Dean wishes he had better weeks.
*rubs heart*
It was a sweet exchange, one where Dean actually got to be the hero and was thanked for it. That so rarely happens to either of them – and out of the two of them, Dean just needs it more. It’s part of who he is. And I’m so glad he got it this time. Saved the girl, and was recognized for it, despite who he wasn’t able to save in the process.
Outside, Sam’s putting his bags in the trunk of the Charger – and there’s just a brief glimpse of the interior, but I could have sworn I saw Cas’ trench coat in there. *sniff*That says so, so much as to what Dean needs with him. And if they cleaned the trash out of that car, they might be able to keep it for awhile. It’s no Impala, but it is an American muscle car from the right decade….
Sam straightens and tells Dean he figures they can take the same car. He looks…subdued, but in a good way. Like he’s found some peace inside of him. Some understanding of Dean’s position and choice. There’s a calmness there that Dean instantly picks up on and responds to.
Dean:  Works for me. You still want to break my face?
Sam: Nah. Not at this point.
Dean nods, his face softening with the beginnings of a smile around his eyes. There is something about the lighting in this shot because they both look fantastic, but Dean… good gracious. He kinda shot my breath all to pieces. UNF.
Sam: Y’know what? You were right. About Amy. If she were just any monster, I’m not sure I could have just let her walk away.
Dean (cautious, careful): So, what are you saying?
Sam: I’m saying…I get why you did it. You were just trying to make sure no one else got hurt. But here’s the thing. You can’t just look me in the face and tell me you’re fine. You’re not sleeping. You drink for the record—
Dean (looking away): Here we go.
Sam: Look, whatever. Last one to preach, I know. But. Just be honest with me. How are those the actions of someone who knows they did the right thing?
I had to take a breath here, because there’s so many ways this could have gone. He could have told Sam what Ellen said. He could have opened himself wide in that moment. Or he could go small, go cautious, baby steps.
Dean: You want me to be honest? I went with my gut. And that felt right. I didn’t trust her, Sam. ‘Course…ever since Cas, I’m having a hard time trusting anybody. (*sad*) And as far as how I’ve been acting…I don’t like lying to you. Doesn’t feel right. So, yeah, you’ve got me there. I’ve been climbing walls.
*laugh* You just want to shake both of them. When watching this as a story, I want to say then don’t! Just be honest with each other!  But when thinking about it as a situation with life and siblings and how things happen…I get it. I get not being clear, even though you think you are. I get making promises inside statements like, “all those times I left you, I was wrong,” and breaking them the next time things get tough. I get going behind the other’s back to do what you felt had to be done. And I get lying about it, too, because sometimes the consequences of truth are too great to comprehend.
Sam: I know how that is. If I learned one thing from that museum, sibling acts are tough.
Dean moves around Sam with a grimace, saying, “Don’t compare us to that hall of crazy. We are a functional family compared to them.”
Sam says it’s a bit of a low bar and Dean makes a comment about grading on a curve getting him through everything since Kindergarten. It’s one of those light-hearted, let’s get back to it, moments. They didn’t peel away all layers and get to the heart of the matter, but that can all come. The point is, they’re back together. And it was…organic. I mean, they were both still hunting, the odds they’d come across the same hunt at some point in time were pretty great.
The way the anger came to a head and the way it was dissipated was true to form to their lifestyle and way of dealing, I thought. And the ‘make up’ talk was very ‘guy-like.’ Nothing big and overt, no heartfelt promises or angst filled ‘whys.’ Just…this is how it is. This is how I am. And I’m not perfect and I’m not healed. But I am your brother. And that’s enough.
I think we’ll still have more to come from Ellen’s ‘warning.’ There’s more to Dean’s pain than Amy. It was there in his voice at Bobby’s house before there even was an Amy. So, there’s more to come there. And Sam…he might seem as though he’s adjusting to his new normal, but he went a bit to the extreme with this one, and I can’t help but think that was a direct result of the very find line of control he’s walking. So, there’s more to come there.
But for now, they’re on the road, in a ‘borrowed’ car, together. I’m good with it. Next week, though? I echo Dean’s, “What the hell?” Oh, and that Ramble will be on time. *smile* Thanks for reading!
Tags: ramble, stream of consciousness, supernatural
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