feliciakw: (Dean)
[personal profile] feliciakw
Well, it's been many, many days since this ep aired. And I have had thoughts. But I've also had more important things requiring my attention.

Mainly, this little guy:


Chloe and J


So I think you'll understand my delay.

Neither do I think I can add anything to the current discussion that's going on in various quarters on various forums. Volumes have been written on the closing conversation of the episode. I've read stuff about both brothers that I agree with, much that I disagree with, and nothing that I felt irresistibly compelled to comment on on other forums.

But for you all, I'll try to marshall my thoughts.

The Case:

I actually liked the case quite a bit. Though it totally lacked the scare factor of years past (because let's face it, the scare factor has been missing for a long, long time), I liked the solution Maritza and her husband came up with, finding a way to serve her own needs while at the same time helping others.

(This portion of the ep reminded me of the Adipose ep of Dr. Who. :-) )

I loved the sheriff. She was delightful. Her backstory, and just wanting to feel pretty again was very relatable. Yeah. And the powdered donut shtick with Dean was very amusing.

I also really liked the way Dean related to the sheriff.

It's always nice to see Sam concerned for his brother, and the drugged phone call from Dean was no exception. I think I like these bits so much because they seem so far between. So often Sam seems to take Dean for granted, and it's nice to see him shaken into an awareness of his brother's wellbeing.

Which brings us to the various interactions that carry over from previous weeks.

The Conversation:

The conversation at the end of the ep has been the source of much discussion. I've read things written by people posting from Sam's POV. And I appreciate that. I don't necessarily agree with everything I've read, but I can, to an extent, agree with some of it. The biggest problem Sam has when it comes to Dean in this situation?


Sam said a lot of hurtful things. He might not have meant to hurt Dean, though I think certainly there was a degree of intentional hurt in some of it. When at the beginning of the episode, Sam tells Dean, in regard to disowning Dean, "I was just being honest," that was snarky. That was hurtful. That was deliberate.

At the end, Sam tries to explain himself, that he was ready to die, that Dean shouldn't have saved him. Fair enough. But much of what he said was untrue. He claims that Dean saved him because Dean doesn't want to be alone. It's true that Dean doesn't like to go it alone; that's no secret. But many years ago, Dean told Sam, "I couldn't live with you dead." Being alone has nothing to do with it. It had to do with Sam being alive, regardless of whether or not he was with Dean. Dean has let Sam go many times. He even left the door open for Sam to leave last season by telling him to go back to Amelia. But Dean's happy ending is Sam living a long life with as much "normal" as Sam wants. Dean fully expects to die bloody. He doesn't allow himself to hope for a happy ending for himself. But he does want one for Sam. So what's Sam's happy ending? Sometimes it's "normal," sometimes it's to die without others getting hurt.

Sam's accusation that Dean only saved Sam for his own sake, and that Dean only sacrifices if he (Dean) doesn't get hurt is particularly hurtful.

Prior to this accusation, Sam tells Dean that Dean does more harm than good. Sam probably meant when Dean saves Sam at all costs, but that's certainly not the way he couched the statement. He leaves it entirely open-ended, as if throughout his entire life, Dean has done more harm than good. Ouch.

Sam is angry that Dean took his decision to die away from him. And Sam perhaps means that he would not take such a decision away from Dean, if Dean had made the decision to die. (Sam did this once, but that was years ago.) But that's not what Dean hears.

Here's what Dean, for whom family and loyalty are paramount, has heard from Sam:

You are no longer my brother.
All your life, you've done more harm than good.
You only save me so you don't have to be alone.
You only sacrifice when you're not the one getting hurt.
If you were dying, and I had the resources to save you, I wouldn't.

Really, Sam? Do I really have to enumerate how wrong you are about Dean? How shortsighted? How hurtful? For someone who presents himself as someone who can relate to and empathize with anyone, you really do a very poor job of understanding and communicating with your brother . . . or rather . . . not your brother, your business partner.

We'll see how well you hold your resolve when the Mark of Cain gets the better of Dean.

And now, I should probably go take a nap. Between Olympics and baby, oy.
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