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Stream of Consciousness, Epi. 9.13

I'm learning never to trust the slant of the previews.




Really quick before I start -- thank you to everyone who commented on last week's Ramble. There were some really great, insightful comments -- not all of which agreed with my viewpoint. But everyone was civil (which is key for any good discussion) and left room for the fact that these are all just our own personal opinions of a show we're viewing through our own personal filters. I also gained a little bit of insight into a character I was really struggling seeing clearly, so I appreciate the opposing viewpoints being shared.

I didn't get to reply to everyone before this week's episode, but I read everything, agreed with much and appreciated the thoughts of the rest. Please don't take my lack of reply as a lack of interest; it's merely a lack of time. So keep your comments coming! *smile*

And remember -- quick PSA, here -- as always, this is just my opinion about this episode of our Show. One fan's thoughts, not meant to claim certainty or fact.

Now, on to The Purge.

Man, I'm trying to be good, watch what I eat, kill myself on the Boflex Treadclimber...I'd really like lose some pounds myself. And I'll be first to admit I've been tempted by those "lose 10 lbs in two weeks" ads on TV because who wouldn't want that, right? But I think I've been effectively turned away from the 'quick fix' solution. And all it took was one bad 'fish taco.' *wink*

So...there were good moments and amusing moments and a few aww moments in this episode, but I'm left sitting (as I did last week) with a sad, heavy heart at the end of it all. There's a line in the movie/book A River Runs Through It that came to mind in the final scene: "It's those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them. We can love them completely, without complete understanding."

It's the "live with and should know who elude us" part that I'm caught on at the moment. I'll circle back to that at the end.

There was a lot more than fat being 'purged' in this episode...and I think that was kind of the point of the title. Sam has now had two episodes to get things off his chest, to be (literally) brutally honest in ways he probably hasn't felt free to be before -- not necessarily because of anything Dean has said or done, but because of Sam choosing to hold himself in check for a multitude of reasons. He's come clean about how he sees his brother, and how he feels about what he sees, and he's exposed a position in his view of their brotherly 'bond' that was completely opposite to what Dean has clearly taken for granted.

The truth is supposed to set you free, right? But when it's one-sided truth...I'm not sure if the same edict holds weight. Sam spoke the truth from his viewpoint, from how he saw the world and his assessment of Dean's reasons and motivations. But that wasn't Dean's truth, so how can it set either of them free? I don't mean to say that there isn't truth to what Sam said, but it's not the whole story, it's not the whole truth. And without that other side...what he said hurts without the opportunity to heal. Plus some of what he said had me wondering if he'd just flat-out forgotten what his brother has been through over the last 8 years, what he's been willing to do for Sam. Did the experience of being tricked into being healed by an angel through possession actually erase memories?

I think I get where the writers might be going with this. I'm just not sure why they're going there. I'm not sure why Dean has to be torn down so harshly by the one person he's literally given everything up for just to allow Sam an opportunity to stand on his own. An opportunity Sam deserves on his own merit, not at the destruction of his brother.

In life, if you strip away the assumptions that slip into place when you're dealing with family, you get a raw, personal reality that is rarely exposed because it hurts too damn much. We need our buffers of illusion and filters. We need our own truths to protect us from another's. Without them, we're all just left to shake together like skeletons someone forgot to bury.

I think Sam's anger was justified. He was hurt, he was wronged. I've never denied that. But the words he's now choosing in order to express the results of processing that anger are hurtful and in many respects untrue. I can see where he might be blind to that, though -- when we're wronged, we feel justified in lashing out. Especially if given the opportunity to lash out at the person who wronged us in the first place. There is an unspoken nod of agreement where we can say whatever we want to that person without fear of retribution because, hey, they wronged us, man. We are righteous in our anger! I cannot imagine there is a person among us who hasn't felt that at some point.

But, I honestly and truly hope the writers have just about gotten all of this out of their systems. It probably shouldn't mean as much to me as it does, but...dammit, it does. I think I'm going to have to once more process through the episode before I'm able to work through how tense and sad that last scene made me feel.

But before I suck out all the story from the episode just to get to the end (see what I did there), let's get to some lists. Because it was an unusual, entertaining hunt and totally bizarre MotW.

LOVED:


  • Dean's rough, tired voice at the beginning of the episode. He's always had a read me the phone book and I'm yours voice, but lately it's been deeper, raspier, like a rock star on a bender.

  • Plus also the scruff...just sayin'.

  • Dean and the Sheriff Hanscum eating powdered donuts.

  • Sam in spandex and a tank. Mostly in a tank. *bites lip* I think there needs to be more reasons for Sam to wear a tank. Like Ryan from The O.C. He was broody and moody, too, right?

  • Dean, in his suit, stretched out on the bed, laptop in lap. Don't ask. Just, nod and smile.

  • The Most Awkward Yoga Class Ever.

  • "Hey, New Guy. Stop flirting with the trainer and keep scooping."

  • "You're not the only one who's dated someone 'bendy'."

  • Groggy, mussy-haired Dean post-roofie incident.

  • "Doug's a dick. You deserve better."

LIKED:


  • Dean processing out loud why Slim Jim's wife might fall for Wayne McNutt while Sam shoots him stop it glares.

  • Dean telling Sam he's awkward around girls. Weird. Sam weird.

  • Dean in a hairnet. I mean, seriously. This guy makes hairnets look good. I can't even....

  • The MotW - a pishtaco. Mostly because it's the first time I've ever heard of them (I had to google the term to figure out how to spell it) and because it was totally gross. Plus also, I heard "fish taco" just like Dean and it had me cracking up.

  • The fact that pudding is Dean's undoing.

  • The fact that Dean knows what roofies look like at a glance...and Sam doesn't.

  • The fact that Marissa sounded like Penelope Cruz when she cried. Kinda looked like her, too.

MEH:


  • Until I'm able to end an episode without that feeling where you don't know if you want to yell, cry, get drunk, or drive somewhere really fast, I don't know if I'll be able to muster enough energy to 'meh' anything.

QUESTION:


  • Who do you think Dean was texting when he was in the kitchen?

  • I don't mind having episodes without him, but where do you think Castiel went? I mean, he was hanging out in the bunker in "First Born," healing Sam. And then Sam suddenly shows up in WI last week (which was apparently just a few days before this week's epi) and doesn't mention his whereabouts. He's not at the bunker when the boys get back there in this episode.... I mean, I know we see him next episode per the previews, but it just makes me wonder where he's spending his time if he's essentially Angel Enemy Number One.

  • Anyone else wondering when we're going to know what the 'cost' the Mark of Cain is going to be? Dean's not sleeping, he's drinking again, he's taking hits from his only safety zone, he's once more backsliding and clawing for purchase, and now he has a powerful 'mark' branding him.... *ponders*

THEN was basically our reminder that Sam can't trust Dean like he thought, Dean says they're family, but Sam's not so sure that really matters. Also, Dean looks gorgeous. NOW, we're in Stillwater, MN at a hotdog eating contest. Any eating contest in any story ever will always take me right back to the Barf-o-Rama from Stephen King's The Body (later the movie Stand by Me). Luckily, there wasn't any barfing...just some corny jokes, like Wayne McNut being declared the "wiener." Heh. Heh. Heh.

Slim Jim -- who lost to Wayne by one hot dog -- accuses him of cheating by sticking a hot dog in his pocket but Wayne makes a crude joke and is given the trophy, which he takes out to his car, laughing all the way. Turns out he did cheat and while he's chuckling in his car, he takes out the hot dog he cheated with and starts noshing on it (which...eww...hot dog with pocket lint). Suddenly, a hooded figure appears behind him and sucks the fat from his body. All. Of. It. Laugh it up, fuzzball.

At the bunker, it's apparently just been a couple days since they found Garth and Dean agreed to Sam's terms to hunt together again. Dean's in the kitchen, having some whiskey with his Cornflakes, and staring with tired eyes at the screen of a laptop. Sam comes bounding in -- looking really healthy and energetic, compared to how we've seen him in past episodes -- searching for breakfast stuff. He sweeps past Dean and asks off-handedly if Dean slept last night.

Yeah, that'd be a no. Dean sounds rough. And sexy as hell, but um. You got that, so. I'll move on.

Dean: Rudy was on. (I'm with Dean - have to watch this every time it's on TV.) Then Unforgiven. Then I was just too jacked to sleep, so...research.

Oh, the irony that he watched Unforgiven and couldn't sleep. *pets him*

Sam: Gadreel?

Hello, Mr. One Track Mind.

Dean: And Metatron, the Mark of Cain...crickets.

He did find a case, though, and tells Sam about Fat Boy Slim in Minnesota going from 300 to 90 lbs. Sam says he's game.

Dean: It's a whore's bath for me. I'll be ready in five.

He gets up and heads out of the room, pausing in the doorway when Sam speaks up.

Sam: You sure you're okay?

Dean: Why wouldn't I be?

Sam: 'Cause...this isn't about what I said the other day is it?

Dean: Oh, the 'we're not supposed to be brothers'? Don't flatter yourself. I don't break that easy.

True. Took 30 years of torture in Hell.

Sam: 'Cause I was just being honest.

I kinda had to shake my head at that. What did he want from Dean? A thank-you? Good for you for being honest, Sam. Well done.

Dean: Oh, yeah, no. (heads out of the room) I got that loud and clear.

Sam: *sighs*

At the Stillwater police station, the boys are suited up with their Agent personas getting the 411 from Sheriff Hanscum - a pretty, if a bit plump -- blonde woman with a thick MN accent. She gives them the low-down on the 'unfriendly rivalry' between Wayne McNutt and Slim Jim Morgan and exposes them to the world of the Competitive Eating Circuit. Which is a real thing. Oh, yeah. You betcha. They eat all sorts of whackadoo stuff...including deep fried butter. *gack*

While they're talking, she offers them powdered donuts, which Dean happily accepts and closes his eyes with the bliss of deliciousness at the first bite...a bite that leaves his mouth coated in powdered sugar. Sam does that furtive you got a little something on your mouth move and Dean basically dabs at the corner of his lips, missing the whole sugar mess. While Sam looks exasperated, it doesn't faze the Sheriff and she and Dean happily munch on their donuts.

I want to simultaneous-donut-eat with Dean. Just sayin'.

So, the boys head over to Slim Jim Morgan's to find out what he knows. The dude is like a buck soaking wet and is mainlining lettuce as he talks -- because it stretches the stomach...he's in training, you see. Dean's all, reason number 437 to avoid salads.

Slim Jim says that Wayne was a weasel and a cheat and that Karma is a bitch. Good thing he's got a solid alibi. Dean notices charms and trinkets on a shelf and Slim Jim says they belong to his "old lady" -- who, as it turns out, is a gypsy. Sam asks to use the bathroom and takes the opportunity to poke around, finding what looks like a hex bag in their bedroom. He snatches it and leaves before Gypsy Woman emerges from the shower. They leave their card with Jim and head to the motel.

After doing some research, they discover that the bag really is a hex bag, though it's not the same as a witches hex bag, I'm guessing. Just as they get to that conclusion, there's a knock at the door -- it's Jim's wife. She wants the bag back. She didn't use it to curse Wayne; it was a blessing. She wanted Wayne to win so she could get a quickie divorce from Jim -- she and Wayne were having an affair.

Dean has to process this a bit. A little extra cushion for the pushing. Hah! Sam is shooting darts at him with his eyes, but when Jim's wife says sadly that Wayne called her his Princess Jasmine, Dean smiled a little sadly at that, as if empathizing with her.

Elsewhere, in a gym, at night, a lady is on a bike, using hand weights and working out to Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong. When the timer goes off, she heads over to the scales to check her progress and her face when she discovers that she's actually gained weight broke my heart a little. I know how you feel, honey. *pets her*

She hears a sound and instead of grabbing one of those hand weights and standing at the ready -- I mean, she's alone in a big ol' gym at night -- she weighs herself once more, just to be sure. Of course, the hooded bad guy is in there and clonks her on the head with the hand weight that she should have used. She falls, groggy and we see something slither up under her sweatshirt and suddenly...all fat gone. That death was sad.

Next day, the boys are suited up again and talking to the cops, the woman -- Carol -- covered up by a body bag.

Dean: What did she weigh before?

Cop (looking at driver's license): 165.

Dean: So...180. Known fact, all women lie about their weight and age.

Sam: You told that waitress the other day you were 29.

Dean: Mmhmmm (with a so what's your point expression)

Cop: So...anything else?

He tells them that the Sheriff is actually out for the rest of the week on vacation. Dean find a mark on Carol's belly that looks like a suction mark and they speculation that it could be a changeling...or it could just be a birthmark. They have to check out the morgue. Just then a pretty, fit, blonde woman comes in and is talking to the cops. Dean suggests they split up, one stays here and talks to the staff, the other goes to the morgue.

Sam: I'll stay.

Dean: Ain't gonna happen.

Sam: Why?

Dean: Because you're weird around girls.

Kinda cracks me up that they're both in their 30's and he still says 'girls'.

Sam: What does that mean, weird?

Dean: You're awkward. Weird. Sam weird. Sorry, man. I'm just being honest.

With that snark and a dead-eyed glance, he moves past Sam and heads over to talk to the girl. The conversation basically just makes me feel more sorry for Carol having to die (she was trying to lose weight for her wedding) and reveals that the pretty blonde has a mark on her back like Carol's.

Back at the hotel, Sam returns from the morgue and Dean is sitting on one of the beds, still in his suit, sans jacket, legs stretched out in front of him, laptop in his lap. I don't know what it was about that image that just...yeah. ANYWAY, Sam discovered that Wayne had a suction mark just like the others and Dean tells Sam about how he discovered Canyon Valley Wellness Spa through the pretty trainer at the gym. They watch the ad -- two thin, fit, good-looking people talking about no surgery, no diet, blah blah blah, only takes a week.... uh-huh.

It's only a couple of hours away, so the boys head there the next day and apply as personal trainers in what was probably the weirdest, most uncomfortable interview ever. Dean was just really really enthused about making people sweat, kicking ass, and taking names. *hides face behind pillow*

Sam redirects saying they both have a passion for fitness and helping people. This speaks to Larry, the husband in this married couple/owners team, who said when he met Marissa he was as big as a house, but she turned him into a lean, mean fighting machine. Dude goes all Bruce Lee for a second, causing the boys to draw back in surprise. But then, gives Sam the trainer job...Dean gets relegated to the kitchen.

Complete with hair net. Sam approaches wearing his form-fitting gray tank that just...yes, please.

Dean: Nice shorts.

Sam: Nice hairnet.

Dean: Why do I gotta be the lunch lady?

Sam: Since when have you ever complained about being around food?

He's got a point.

Alsonso, head food guy, calls Dean out for "flirting" with the trainer and tells him to get back to work. Sam says it's okay, his Yoga class starts in 5 mins.

Dean: How do you know anything about Yoga?

Sam (smirking): You're not the only one who's dated someone 'bendy.'

A guest asks Dean if he has any oatmeal and Dean's all I wish...tofu pancake? It's about then we discover that Sheriff Hanscum is at the spa and is about to have her spa treatment -- called 'cupping'. I'm hoping this is a totally made up thing. Not the slither-tentacle sucking maneuver, of course, but the whole...heating the glass and putting it on the skin thing. Anyway, the cop basically passes out on the massage table and never feels the tentacle that suddenly comes out of Marissa's mouth, attaches to her back and allows fat to be sucked out of her body. *GAH*

In the kitchen, Dean is leaning against a counter, texting someone. Alonso the Kitchen Dude throws a towel at him and tells him, "You got time to lean, you got time to clean." Heh. My Dad used to say that.

Dean grumbles that they have to eat the same thing as the clients -- it's rabbit food to him and he's starving. He's given a huge bowl of pudding and told to put into the little dishes -- the clients get pudding on spa day. Last hurrah before the "real work" starts. Dean tastes the pudding, approves, and slips a container into his pocket all, it's my spa day, too.

In the Most Awkward Yoga Class Ever, Sam's telling everyone to hold Downward Dog for 5 mins, which earns him loud protests, so he changes it to 30 seconds and walks around the room checking their posture or position or whatever it is yoga instructors do. He sees that each person has that red suction mark on their backs. Curiouser and curiouser.

Somewhere in the depths of the kitchen, Dean has found a hiding place to consume his contraband pudding. Only problem is, when he stands up, he goes pale and has to sit again quickly, his vision blurring. He tries to stand up once more and ends up face-planting into a sack of sweet potatoes. Not cool.

As Sam's all good game, good game to the class as they leave, the sheriff is being wheeled back to her room and catches sight of him, calling him Agent Freeley. Whoopsie. Just then, Sam's phone rings and he's able to slip away before Larry (who is pushing her wheelchair) asks any questions. It's Dean on the phone and he sounds...wrong.

Dean: Sammy...need your help.

He's still face down, limbs all tangled, barely able to get the phone to his mouth.

Sam: Dean? What's wrong with you? Where are you?

Dean: Sweet potatoes.... (passes out again)

Sam starts to hunt for him, heading down to the kitchen, then finding a door to the basement, checking each door and calling for Dean. He finds him, still face down, and shakes him a bit to bring him around.

Dean (totally groggy): ...was drugged. Pudding. Supposed to be for clients. Couldn't resist.

Sam (sniffs the container): Salted caramel?

Dean (loopy smile): Yeah, man, best of both worlds. Salty and sweet.

Gotta agree there. That's why the Starbucks salted caramel mocha is my undoing.

Sam: Right. You stay here.

Dean: No, no, I wanna come with you. (barely moves...lays back down) Go ahead, man, I'll catch up.

Sam goes all growly when he finds one of the chefs and asks if he made the pudding.

Chef (coyly): Depends.

Sam: On what?

Chef: Whether you liked it or not.

Sam is like HULK SMASH and pins the guy to the wall, demanding to know what was in the pudding. He finds out that they put some supplements in it and brings the supplements and a can of soda to Dean, helping him sit up. Dean's all headache-face and mussy hair, holding his head in his hands and sitting on the bag of sweet potatoes as he drinks the soda. He looks at the supplements and tells Sam they're roofies.

Sam: How do you know what roofies look like?

Dean: How do you not know? Do you think I want to wake up in hotel bathtub...my kidney carved out...in Chechnya?

He asks Sam what he found out in yoga class, still needing to get his bearings. Sam is crouching in front of him, watching him drink the soda and tells him that everyone in the class had the suction marks. Dean's pupils are still wide from the drug as he wonders what the hell is going on there.

They decide to go talk to Sheriff Hanscum, admitting that they're working undercover on a connection to the deaths in town. They find out that she lost 10 lbs in one day because of "cupping" -- and that she had pudding right before her spa treatment. She tells them that she doesn't really give a flying fudge why it was so easy. Her husband, Doug, left her because he said she loved cookie dough milkshakes more than him.

Dean: Doug's a dick. You deserve better.

Meanwhile, Larry got suspicious and poked around and found the boys' fake ID stash in their glove compartment. Either he's a crafty spa guy and picked the lock, or the boys left the door unlocked. Either way. Not good. He shows the IDs to Marissa and they realize the boys are hunters and are here because of the deaths in town. Both instantly conclude what this means, though they don't tell us. Marissa goes to 'destroy the evidence' which is, apparently, big Tupperware containers full of *gag* fat. I can't even.... *shudders* She's about to go all slither on it again when Dean stops her, stepping into the room, gun pulled.

He ties her up and demands to know what she is she says she's pishtaco. Dean and I tilted our heads at the same time, probably with the same perplexed looks on our faces as he says, "You're a...fish taco?"

She says it's pishtaco -- a Peruvian Fat Sucker. Which just...eww. I can just see the writers googling for MotW and hitting that one with a, holy crap this could be totally gross isn't that cool conversation.

Dean: Never heard of it. So, like vamps with a sweet tooth for cellulite?

Marissa said that vampires kill; they're just parasites. She would never hurt anybody; that's why she and Larry started Canyon Valley. She could feed while helping others get thin. Win-win. However, there were two dead peeps in town who might disagree. So, Marissa tells Dean about Alonso...her brother.

Down in the kitchen, Larry is confronting Alonso, telling him he wants him out. Of course, Alonso takes this as well as can be expected...and kills Larry. Sam is down in the hallway -- I can't remember what he was doing down there, actually -- and hears Larry's scream of pain, coming across the body too late. After that, both boys are in the room with Marissa, telling her about her dead husband and finding out how to kill her brother.

Poor Marissa is having a really bad day.

They head down to the basement -- where Marissa said that Alonso spends most of his time -- armed with silver knives. They head to the basement door, but the lights are off. Dean finds flashlights and they go down the stairs, stepping over a smear of blood on the floor and split up, each taking one direction of the hall and checking the doors. Dean finds a janitor's closet with empty jars of what could have been fat...maybe tinged with blood? It was gross, that's all I know. Sam finds the pudding chef dead like Larry and keeps moving forward until he finds a portable closet of clothes.

Just as he turns, though, the closet is knocked over on top of him, pinning him to the floor as Alonso jumps on top of it saying that the fat makes him stronger. Sam's all, yep, that's what your sister said before she ratted you out.

Alonso thinks Sam is a lying liar who lies and tries to tentacle his face; Sam pushes him and the closet off, getting free, but losing sight of Alonso. He taunts him, drawing him out and they fight -- in the dark, so it wasn't that easy to see. Mainly Sam was holding his own until he got literally kicked through a wall (ouch!) then Alonso was on top of him, strangling him and trying to slither-suck his neck when Dean swoops in, cuts off the tentacle and kills Alonso, saving Sam.

In the aftermath, the authorities come in to take care of the bodies and such and Marissa is sitting off to herself, looking devastated. Sam walks over and she says in a small, broken voice that she lost her whole family that day. Dean draws Sam to the side and tells him that once the place clears out, they have to make it a family affair.

Sam: We're not going to kill Marissa!

Dean: She's a monster.

Sam: Who saved our asses!

Dean (eyes hard): You said that you wanted to keep things strictly business. Well, we're in the business of killing monsters.

Sam (bitch-face set on full): I wanted to keep things strictly business between us. But I still have a heart. What if I had crossed paths back when I was possessed by Gadreel? I would've ended up dead, too. Would I have deserved that? Would I have deserved to die?

Dean looks like he's reining in a torrent of words, swallowing them down and resigning himself to the fact that Sam will win this one. Again. With the exception of Benny and Amy, Sam's pretty much the one to decide which monsters get to live or die and Dean complies with his assessment. Except for Benny, Dean's been pretty black-and-white with his initial reaction to monsters: they die. Even when it came to Garth's new family, Dean wanted to kill them. He wasn't too keen on killing Garth, of course, but the family, in his eyes were monsters and he needed convincing they should be allowed to live. Sam's the one who plays Monster God and Dean knows it. When he's crossed Sam -- i.e., Benny and Amy -- it's wrecked their relationship for months and he can't afford to rip it apart more.

Dean: So. One-way ticket to Peru?

The boys leave Canyon Valley and head back to the bunker. Later, Dean's sitting in the bunker kitchen alone, sipping whiskey and Sam sticks his head in the door saying he's going to bed.

Dean: Hey. About what you said the other day.

Sam (leaning against the doorframe looking ready to be pissy): I thought it didn't bother you.

Dean: Y'know, Sam...I saved your hide back there. And I saved your hide at that church. And the hospital.

Sam rolls his eyes all, ORLY?

Dean: I may not think things all the way through, okay. But what I do, I do because it's the right thing. (Picks up his glass) I'd do it again.

He's never really been that great with words. I knew immediately the "right thing" phrasing would trigger Sam.

Sam: And that is the problem.

Dean freezes.

Sam: You think you're my savior, my brother the hero. You swoop in and even when you mess up you think that what you're doing is worth it because you've convinced yourself you're doing more good than bad. But you're not.

Dean = wounded eyes.

That hurt. I'll admit. I'm not sure what Sam is trying to do here, but what he is doing is totally breaking down every support structure Dean has in place that keeps him able to move forward every day.

Sam: Kevin's dead, Crowley's in the wind, we're not closer to beating this angel thing. Please tell me: what is the upside of me being alive?

Dean: You kidding me? You and me. Fighting the good fight together.

Like they both agreed they wanted to do, should do, would do. Sam's allowed to change his mind about that, but it's not fair to expect Dean to accept it and it's definitely not fair to blame Dean for continuing down a path he didn't realize Sam wasn't on anymore.

Sam (big, frustrated sigh): Okay. (Sits down across from Dean, causing Dean to draw back a bit in almost instinctive protection) Just once, be honest with me. You didn't save me for me. You did it for you.

Dean (looking completely caught off guard, confused): What are you talking about?

Sam: I was ready to die. I should have died. But you didn't want to be alone. That's what all this boils down to. You can't stand the thought of being alone.

Dean looks hurt, shocked that this is what his brother thinks of him. This is what Sam believes is the honest truth. And the thing is, there is truth to that. Dean didn't want to be alone. He's never wanted that -- he could have found John on his own, but he didn't want to, each time Sam has walked away from him, Dean's sought for him to come back or accepted him back because he believes they're better together, they're more balanced as a team, safer as a family.

But if Sam thinks that's the only reason Dean saved him, then he really doesn't know his brother at all. The hospital was just the latest string in a series of choices Dean has made, all his life, to save Sam. He didn't save Sam because he was afraid of being alone, he saved Sam because he didn't want to lose Sam. He's been alone. He's been on his own. He just doesn't want to live in a world without Sam in it -- and he's said as much. The fact that Sam doesn't think about this side of the truth with that statement he threw toward Dean has me shaking my head.

Dean (gets up, turns away): All right.

Sam: I'll give you this much. You are certainly willing to do the sacrifice. As long as you're not the one being hurt.

Okay, sorry, what? This is where he really lost me. I don't even know if I can go the "he's hurting/angry so he's lashing out" route with this...it's like he's forgotten so much of their history. All Dean does is hurt. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Skipping over speculations of what happened before the show -- like Dean continually stepping between John and Sam to break up their fights and sacrificing his childhood to make sure Sam was cared for, protected, safe....

What about sacrificing his soul to Hell so that Sam could live? I can guarandamntee you that being ripped apart by Hellhounds hurt. Or how about killing his friend, Benny, to get Sam out of Purgatory? That hurt. Or leaving Lisa and Ben to rejoin Sam in the hunt because Sam was back and said he needed him? If Sam doesn't think that was painful, I don't know what to say.

But, while I was busy thinking of reason after reason for why what Sam said was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard, Dean decides to try a different tactic, perhaps thinking that it wouldn't do any good to try to combat Sam's purging with his own version of the truth when Sam was sitting so squarely inside his own righteousness.

Dean: All right...you want to be honest? If the situation were reversed, you'd do the same thing.

Sam: No, Dean. I wouldn't. Same circumstances, I wouldn't.

Dean looks like Sam just hit him in the solar plexus. He doesn't really look like he's even breathing there for a moment. As Sam heads to bed, Dean simply stands there, staring after him, looking gutted. And the interesting thing is, while I was immediately on the defense about the "you're not the one being hurt" comment, here I could actually see both sides.

For Sam, he's saying he'd give Dean the respect he doesn't feel Dean's ever given him. Same circumstances, Dean ready to die, etc., Sam would respect that and let him go. He'd have hated it, but he would've done it. In a way, it's almost like he's saying, see? I can do for you what you can never do for me. The bottom line is, he's saying he wouldn't do the same thing Dean did because it's not what he would have wanted. So, in a weird way, while he wouldn't be saving Dean's life, he would actually be doing the same thing -- Sam would be doing for Dean what Sam wants and not what Dean wants, just as he accused Dean of doing for him what Dean wanted, not what Sam wanted.

And now I'm talking in circles, but I think you get me. At least I hope so.

However, Dean...he didn't hear any of that. All he heard was that where he did whatever was necessary to save Sam's life as he's always done, if the roles were reversed, Sam would let him die. All Dean heard was that it didn't matter how much he'd sacrificed for Sam -- it didn't matter that he'd spent his childhood watching out for Sammy, or that he died to save Sam's life, or that he'd died to save Sam's soul, or that he'd killed one of his friends to save Sam's life...none of that mattered. When it came down to it, Sam would let Dean die.

And that hit him like a physical blow, you could see it in his eyes.

"It's those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them. We can love them completely, without complete understanding."

These guys live in each other's pockets; they're so close they should be psychic. But because of that closeness, that co-dependency that we've all come to depend on, they've put up walls and made assumptions and it's starting to become clear with this purge of truth from one that there are things about who they are that still elude them. And they either have to overcome the assumptions and see both sides of the truth...or they have to choose to love without complete understanding, if they're ever going to come back together again.

Because all this growing and maturing and conflict for the sake of the story is starting to break my heart. In all honesty, I'm kinda glad we have a two week break until they come back so that I can get my bearings again and find my way back to being entertained and letting the story just happen.

Okay, sorry for the surplus of opining in this Ramble. Let me hear yours. And I'll try to reply to all of them this time.

A closing PSA -- I'll be in Sydney, Aus for work on the 25th, so that Ramble will be late...probably around Friday or Saturday Australia time. Hope you'll come back to check it out.

Slainte!

Tags: episode review, stream of consciousness, supernatural, what do you think?
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