Sunday, 19 April 2015

Review - Supernatural 10x18 "Book Of The Damned" - I Can't Do It Without My Brother


Are you legally allowed to marry a TV show? There was that woman who married the Eiffel Tower a few years back, so maybe... Of course, I’ve been shacking up with Supernatural for 10 years now, and I’ve most definitely wanted to pop the question before, but “Book Of The Damned” made me want to drop to one knee and finally make it official! We could play Carry On Wayward Son as I walk down the aisle, and Highway to Hell as we leave the church! Because that is most certainly what we’re now on, a highway to hell, built on good intentions, wrapped in lies and deceit, coming from a place of love. Everything is Winchestery and everything hurts…so…good.

“Book Of The Damned” was just damned wonderful. It’s rare these days to see fandom collectively cheering, but this episode managed to have even the most jaded of fans rallying in its corner and waxing lyrical about a certain Robbie Thompson and his ability to absolutely capture the heart and soul of this show and every character in it. The episode left me elated and full of squee and terrified and full of dread, my heart thumping from love and excitement and hurting from love and sadness. It was that collection of feelings that only Supernatural can balance so perfectly, and that extraordinary “something” that made me fall in love with this show in the first place. “Book Of The Damned” was a thing of true beauty.


I love Charlie and it’s been such a pleasure to watch her morph from this geeky, scared, hacker girl, to someone kicking ass and travelling the rocky path of heroism with all the greys that comes along with it. Charlie wanted a quest, something epic, like in the books and games she loves. She went to Oz and had an adventure while at the same time discovering the truth of what being a hero means, the choices that have to be made that aren’t always easy on the soul or the conscious. She came back to our realm tougher, wiser, a fighter. She eagerly agreed to help Sam and Dean and set off on a new quest, one all about family, her new family.

I love that Charlie is slowly, by osmosis really, becoming a hunter, understanding what that means, understanding Sam and Dean and their world. It’s sad and awesome. Sad because, like she said, she didn’t want that life, didn’t expect it, she had very different plans, but awesome because it’s great to see these kick-ass female characters! Heroic without being stereotypical. Able to have a full range of emotions. Charlie should struggle with what this all means for her, it’s new and unknown, she should still be scared, and it’s great to see her written like that.

And of course Felicia Day is so perfectly, wonderful as Charlie. I love this character, what she’s brought into the boys’ world, the relationship she has with them as brothers and as individuals, the things she can reflect back to them, comments she can make that can broaden their view of each other and their relationship. The brothers need these people in their lives, people who can look from the outside in and give a different perspective. All Charlie had to say was “Brothers!” to Sam and the whole perspective of what Sam said and did and was feeling bad about, changed. Outside views are so damn important in this show, so damn important for Sam and Dean and their insular world. Yay for Charlie, may she forever live!


And though I never in a million years thought I’d say this, but let’s not kill Metatron for a while either! Cas and Metatron’s road trip was unbelievable fun. BAMF Cas smacking Metatron about when he just couldn’t take the incessant yabbering any more was gold! There was some damn funny interplay going on. Like a buddy movie, without the comedy, or the buddies. Go Cas! Every so often he gets humour!

I was so busy loving the back and forth between these two that I missed that the master manipulator was doing his thing and distracting Castiel so that Cas wouldn’t see the twist coming. Like I didn’t. Curtis Armstrong eats up and spits out every single word of Metatron’s dialogue with such aplomb that I got totally lost in his performance! I never saw the blood sigil thing happening, and really, we should all know better! There he was bleeding! The only weapon he really needs as an angel is a little bit of blood and a little bit of finger painting! I nearly slapped my forehead for not thinking of it! What he's got planned for the demon tablet...well it can't be good.


I cheered when Cas got his Grace back. Huzzah! He figured out the quote because Metatron had stuffed him full of all the references, which was delicious irony. The books exploding as he powered back up, the light, the burning blue eyes, the broken, tattered wings, destroyed by the fall. My favourite Cas is fully-charged, kicking some ass, tough mofo angel Cas. Yay! I’m so happy he’s got his mojo back…let’s hope he puts it to good use!

And I’m pretty sure Metatron was speaking for all of us, and for Cas too when he asked Cas who he was and what his mission was. Cas has seemed lost for a long time now, trying to figure out his place in the grand scheme of things. He’s been the good guy, the bad guy, a human. He’s forever on the outs with Heaven, destined to wander amongst humanity, never really fitting in. He’s cleaned up most of the messes he’s made as he's tried to redeem himself. He really never had his heart in the whole rogue angel thing anyway. He’s all Graced up again, so that’s done and dusted. So what does he do next? An angel without purpose is a sad thing. Sure, he can focus on helping Sam to save Dean, and I’m sure he will. I’m also sure he’ll try to fix the broken Novak family. But he’s an angel without wings, without the backing of Heaven, without Heavenly intent… I think Metatron’s words hit a nerve with Cas, and I think we’re going to see that unfold somehow. I think we’re going to see Cas have an existential crisis of the who am I, what am I, why am I here kind of level! It makes me wonder what path he will take the rest of the season, and what sacrifices he might make.


In an episode that had so many delicious character moments with characters other than the Winchesters, Sam and Dean were very much front and centre.

Oh Sam Winchester, you’re going to be the death of me. There is heartbreak etched all over Sam’s face. Even in the moments when he’s smiling at his brother goofing off and wistfully dreaming in the car. You can see that under it all, Sam’s desperate and sad.

Desperate enough to make a choice to save Dean that he knows Dean does not want. Mirroring Dean’s desperation and bad decision-making at the beginning of season 9! Putting his trust in someone he knows he can’t trust because he won’t, he can’t let his brother go, no matter the consequence of what he has to do to save him. Here it is, the journey these two have been on over the last couple of seasons, as they learn to understand each other’s choices, because they are now facing the same. Facing, understanding and accepting each other’s mistakes and their own. How I love this mirroring of each other’s paths that we’ve been privileged to watch play out through season 10.

Dean is facing being destroyed by the Mark of Cain, but stopping this from happening may destroy far more. He doesn’t want that. He doesn’t want to die, but he doesn’t want to live if the ramifications are biblical. It’s not worth it. His life is not worth more than others. Sam faced a similar thing when closing the gates of Hell, he could choose to live, but at what cost to the world?

Dean didn’t want Sam to sacrifice himself for the greater good, just as Sam now doesn’t want Dean to sacrifice himself either. Screw the greater good when it comes to my brother, should be these guys’ motto!

It’s selfless and selfish all in one. Both brothers are willing to sacrifice anything they have to, to save each other. But it’s as much about not wanting their brother to die for their brother’s sake, as it is not wanting their brother to die for their own sakes. Neither can live without each other. It’s always been fandom’s perception that it was Dean’s dysfunction that he could not live without Sam, that he could not let Sam go, but time and again we’ve seen how Sam can also not live without Dean. In "Mystery Spot" as he tried everything, and anything to get his brother back. The lengths he went to and the alliances he made to try to stop Dean going to Hell. He even admitted to Dean that he tried to make deal after deal to rescue Dean from the pit. Sam’s not good when Dean’s not around. We've seen how lost and anchorless he becomes. He’s not whole. Just as Dean isn’t whole without Sam. They may have both tried to live a life without each other, but neither of them could, or in the end, wanted to. They are Yin and Yang, two halves of one whole, they balance each other out, and they absolutely keep each other human.


“You know when Dean came to get me at school I told myself “One last job.” You know? “One more job.” And then when I… um.. when I lost Jess I again told myself “One more job.” It was always “One more job.” You know? One more job. One more job. Then I was gonna go back to law and then my life. I guess I really understand now that this is my life. I love it. But I can’t do it without my brother; I don’t wanna do it without my brother. And if he’s gone…”

I’m so passionately in love with season 10 Sam and the fierce love he has for Dean. That love is always there, but it’s so wonderful to see it in full flight like this. The way these brothers are each other’s world is what drew me into this show, it’s what keeps my rooted to the spot week in and week out, it’s why I write thousands and thousand of words about them, it’s why I have their words and initials tattooed on me. As much as what’s happening now to Dean and to Sam makes my heart ache in pain and tremble in fear, it also makes it soar and fill to the brim with love, pounding out of my chest, as I watch the tears form in Sam’s eyes as he contemplates life without Dean. OKAY, I JUST MADE MYSELF CRY!


And then there’s Dean, trying to pretend that everything is going to be okay. Hanging on to whatever tiny shred of hope comes his way. Not seeing what’s really happening to him, not seeing that his brother can see more of Dean than Dean can. The image of Dean walking on the beach, the sun shining on his face, free from the affects of the Mark, with his brother by his side, “Sand between our toes, Sammy. Sand between our toes.” Not “my” toes, “our” toes. I want that for Dean so bad that it hurts. I want that for the both of them. I can’t even with the love I have for these characters (and the men that play them, I might add.) The absolute joy they bring me, even amongst all the pain.

Jensen said in a meet and greet that Dean can’t see what’s happening to him. He thinks he’s doing okay, but he can’t see the changes brought on by the Mark of Cain that Sam's seeing. That wonderful shot with the gross nun-skin book so beautifully illustrated this. One minute we’re looking at the book in Sam’s hands, the next minute we’re waking up in the kitchen with Dean, dazed and confused. One of the many perfect, and beautifully directed scenes by PJ Pesce. He can come back over and over!

Of course, Dean’s hope was shattered when the consequences of the cure were alluded at. We can’t have fist-pumping Dean for too long now can we! But my sadness got sidetracked because I was suddenly too distracted by the ridiculous amount of pretty going on in the Gas-n-Sip scene!

Why is it that everyone who talks to Dean seems like they’re flirting with him? Oh right, BECAUSE HE LOOKS LIKE THIS!



And then he does this!


HOLY CRAP! He's so damn badassed.


The introduction of the Styne family is super cool. Jacob Styne was fantastically menacing with that dripping with honey, southern drawl…but Dean… Yeah, thank you everyone for that moment!






And as if we hadn’t had enough heart-wrenching blows to the gut, we have the bunker scene. Why do I feel like this is the last happy moment Dean is going to have? Surrounded by his family, all of whom are only focused on one thing, his survival. Sam trying to smile as he clinks bottles with his brother, but knowing he has a terrible secret, a deceit that is growing exponentially with each lie he tells. Now he’s not only lying to Dean, he’s lying to Charlie and Cas too. He's made a deal with the Devil's mother and nothing, absolutely nothing good is going to come of it, and you know that inside, he knows that too.

And The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” hauntingly plays over the montage of what, on the surface, looks like such a joyous gathering. The lyrics so perfectly punctuating the emotion...

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be


What an amazing scene. The power that these images have for us. The incongruity of them in the Winchester’s world. How rarely we see smiles, let alone laughter...even if we know all of it is false.

And then the scene changes into the action sequence where we see Sam hide the book, where we see Jacob Styne acknowledge that he knows the book didn’t burn and that his family will continue to seek it out, and then we have the reveal of Sam asking Rowena for help.

So much goodness. So many emotions. This show. These brothers.



“Book Of The Damned” was one hell of a special episode. It left us on the precipice of doom! And I just can’t figure out who’s in more trouble. Sam or Dean? Or us! Probably us. Yeah us. I think we’re in big, BIG trouble!


-sweetondean


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Light on Spoilers, Heavy on Squee Preview of Supernatural 10x18 "Book of the Damned"



It's over! The last hiatus is over! And you know what that means don't you?  NO MORE BREAKS! We have 6 episodes left in season 10 and 6 weeks to go! So this is people. THIS IS IT! THE BEGINNING OF THE END...of season 10. DON'T ANYONE PANIC!



Okay I'm panicking a little. And by a little, I mean a lot!

So where are we?


THEN

Sam didn't tell Dean that he was going to meet Cas.
Dean didn't tell Sam that he used Sam's toothbrush to comb his armpit hair.
Sam didn't tell Dean that he contacted Bobby.
Dean didn't tell Sam that he made $200+ dollars and a watch hustling pool.
Sam didn't tell Dean that he cracked Metatron out of Heaven.
Dean didn't tell Sam that he appears to be immortal.

DUDES. DUDES. SECRETS ARE BAD.


NOW

Charlie is back and she's got the book of the damned....but what does that mean!

Let's look at the synopsis!




“Book of the Damned”

FELICIA DAY RETURNS AS CHARLIE — Charlie calls Sam and Dean to tell them she found the Book of the Dead which could help remove the Mark of Cain. The Winchesters race to her after she tells them she’s been shot by a man named Jacob Styne (guest star Jeff Branson) who says the book belongs to his family and he won’t rest until he gets it back. Castiel and Metatron take a road trip to find Castiel’s grace but they hit a couple road bumps along the way. PJ Pesce directed this episode written by Robbie Thompson (#1018). 


ROBBIE! YAY! I LOVE ROBBIE! I love Robbie's episodes. PJ Pesce directed "King of the Damned" last season. I feel like we're in good hands.


Let's check out the promo!


Now as this was a promo before a week's hiatus, I'm not sure that there aren't shots from more than one episode here. I guess we'll know that when we get to see the ep! Whatever, it looks super exciting and the whole idea that the book is enticing Dean to do bad, bad things is super interesting!

Also badassed mofo Cas rules.


Ok, how about the sneak peek!



Awwww nerds of a feather! I love how Charlie and Sam relate! I love how different the relationship is between Charlie and Dean and Charlie and Sam. They both have a very different vibe. One's more protective, big brother. The other more peers. It's cool.


This is a special sneak peek from ET!


Awww that's pretty sad. Sam is sitting there relating the hell out of that conversation. Did I mention how much I love Charlie and Sam's relationship and interactions? I love them.


What the synopsis and promos didn't mention, is this!


HOLY CRAP SAM WINCHESTER! This can only lead to bad things.


So, basically I have zero idea what's going to happen. I have vague ill formed theories, but long ago I figured out that just when I think I have this show figured out, it takes a left turn to I-so-didn't-see-that-coming-ville! So I just ride the crazy train and go with the flow, silently screaming on the inside in terror!





What do you think is about to go down? Hit me up in the comments.

Enjoy the episode!
-sweetondean

WAIT! Here's a preview from The Carver! 

Inside: Book of the Damned
Dean might finally have a way out of damnation. Executive Producer Jeremy Carver teases TOMORROW'S all new #Supernatural!
Posted by Supernatural on Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Dean's hopes up mean's heartbreak all around, and yes Cas, you can kill him!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

SUPERNATURAL VILLAIN SPOTLIGHT: AZAZEL




by Guest Writer Melissa

Guest Writer Melissa has started a series on the Supernatural villains. She's started with one of my favourites, Azazel! Let's encourage her to write some more in the series! Let her know your thoughts in the comments.
-sweetondean



Our very first villain ever introduced to us on Supernatural was a demon known as Azazel, first glimpsed upon in the pilot episode where he is ominously visiting the infant Sam. Unidentified for over two entire seasons, for several episodes we in the audience would alternate between nicknames for the fiend, such as the Ceiling Demon or the Yellow-Eyed Demon. With such prestige being our first actual adversary in the show, we owe him the respect of looking deeper into his character and possibly uncovering interesting tidbits from his historical background.

We know, in accordance with the show’s mythology, that Azazel was a high-ranking demon who earned the favor of Satan, so much so that he was bequeathed with the honor of leaving hell in pursuit of the entrance to Lucifer’s cage. Doorway to that cage was located in 1972, when he took possession of a priest and slaughtered all the nuns inside for the inauguration of some satanic ritual. Massacre resulted in his ability to then communicate with Lucifer himself via one of the dead nuns, where he learned in order to break open the cage, they must first release Lilith. Only a chosen child can release her, so Azazel sets out on an arduous task of bargaining with particular women, waiting ten years for the birth of one of their children, and systematically bleeding into their mouths to properly taint and empower their future warriors. Upon coming of age, these anointed children would be faced off in a Battle Royale style melee, after which the lone survivor will use the colt to unlock the gates of hell, thereby releasing the demon, Lilith. Only once this child has killed Lilith, will the final seal be broken and Lucifer can roam free on the earth.



Successful in all these multifarious and intricate ordeals, Azazel was denied his chance to celebrate his accomplishments, instead being shot with the colt by Dean. Hurray for Dean! Despite perishing, no one can argue that Azazel performed his tasks magnificently and managed to set off such an epic chain of events, that to this day the Winchester family is still dealing with some of the repercussions. In fact we wouldn’t even have a show if it weren’t for Azazel, as he was the one who provided John Winchester with the motivation of hunting all that is unnatural and wicked in pursuit of avenging his wife, consequently also raising his sons, Dean and Sam, in the life. But is there more to the demon?



Older translations of the Bible do include the word Azazel in its vocabulary, meaning something equivalent to a scapegoat. Yes, a scapegoat. Yeah, not all that terrifying. Further research into Judaism tells us that the term scapegoat pretty much emerged from the tradition of serving God a goat and offering it as a sacrifice. By slaughtering the goat in God’s name, we are then forgiven our sins, thus turning the sacrifice into a scapegoat. Perhaps we could then interpret the killing of Azazel as a means for redemption for the Winchester legacy, as it was Mary’s choice (admittedly out of the love for her boyfriend) to deal with the demon that cursed her offspring in the first place. Sure, I’m reaching here, but I see Dean killing Azazel as him righting the wrongs done to his family.



Then there are the teachings of Islam, which also reference Azazel. In their religion, Azazel is the name of an entity who disobeyed Allah by tempting Adam to eat the apple and become the world’s very first sinner. Might sound familiar for those fans of Gadreel. Much like how the Azazel in that story lured Adam to the transgression of eating the apple, it was our Yellow-Eyed Dmon in the show who persuaded Mary to bargain with him and seal the fate of her family, in exchange for John’s life. Had it not been for that original transaction, the Winchester family would never have been harmed, Mary’s noble intentions notwithstanding.  

Skip ahead to the Book of Enoch, where you will find a handful of references to Azazel. Depending on the translation and edition, some versions depict him as a fallen angel who copulated with human women. These forbidden relations led to the birth of the Nephilim, which are angel/human hybrids. Look to some other passages and you will see that Azazel is described, not as a fallen angel, but as a mere human being who enticed people to sin. Scriptures specify that Azazel taught mankind the art of war, while also tutoring women in the ways of witchcraft. Between the warfare and sorcery and the abomination of the Nephilim (all of these atrocities influenced entirely by Azazel himself), God flooded the earth and wiped out the majority of mankind. So in a way, you can attribute a certain past apocalypse to Azazel himself. If we were to attach this piece of theology to the character in the show, it would make sense why Azazel was deemed so valuable in the underworld, given his reputation for having been such a contributing factor to the eradication of past generations relating to the biblical flood.



 If we were to cross out the depictions of him as a fallen angel, and take into consideration the opposing passages that portray him as human molding others into the perfect sinners, we could then imagine his subsequent damnation, leading to the eventual demonization of his soul down in hell. Or perhaps, within the constructs of the show, it is possible that he was once an angel, who was then cast out of heaven and reborn as a human, much like Anna. Should an angel lose their grace and be reborn as a human, could they then earn a place in hell in death and thus be turned into a demon? For all we know, Azazel’s grace could be buried away in some tree, just waiting to be excavated.

Time to reveal my true nerdiness, as we now turn to the X-Men mutant of the same name. Summarizing this long and convoluted story the best I can, there was once this army of demons from another dimension who breached earth and raided. Before the demonic soldiers could be pulled back in and sealed forever, their leader, Azazel, used his powers of teleportation to remain on the planet. From there he sired a number of children with only the most unique (basically mutated) women, one of his sons being the popular Nightcrawler.



Years later his legion of children were summoned to an island, where they, including Nightcrawler, were to sacrifice themselves for the sake of opening the portal to Azazel’s dimension and unleashing an army of demons. Needles to say our heroic X-Men team saved the day and prevented the demons from crossing over from their dimension, in the end trapping the malicious Azazel back in his own world. Obviously much of this story arch would remind us of Yellow-Eyed Demon gathering his special children and preparing them to unleash his own army by opening the Devil’s Gate in All Hell Breaks Loose.




All these different parallels remind me of just how well researched this show truly is, in how it’s able to pull from all sorts of source material and give the foundation of these characters true gravitas. As for why his eyes are yellow . . . ? Well, I don’t rightly know. Any theories out there? Although if you do notice the pictures of Azazel in the X-Men comics, he is sometimes illustrated with yellow eyes as well. Connection? 

Lastly I’d also like to mention just how wonderfully this character is portrayed by the assortment of actors they’ve had playing him. We’ve had Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lindsey McKeon, and Rob LaBelle all play him, yet no matter how many different performances I see, I always believe it’s the same character. Two performances in particular I love would be Mitch Pileggi, who was memorably creepy in that scene with Dean during the death of his grandparents, and my absolute favorite, Fredric Lehne. Check out Firefly if you care to see Lehne play another standout villain in a kickass show. There is certainly a lot of history behind Azazel, which makes him all the richer. Whether or not Azazel is your favorite villain, he will always be remembered as our first in Supernatural.





Friday, 10 April 2015

A Walk In Your Shoes: A Lesson In Understanding, Acceptance and Triumph - Part Two




by Guest writer - Anna



Here's part two of Anna's wonderful reflection on how the brothers' walking in each other's shoes, is leading them to a better place of understanding and acceptance of themselves and each other.

Enjoy, and please let Anna know your thoughts in the comments.


-sweetondean



Sam Winchester, as Bobby so eloquently pointed out, is one deep son of a bitch. 

Sam is very much like his brother and yet they are so very completely different. Sam was tainted with demon blood at the age of 6 months old because his mother inadvertently traded her son for her husband when she made a demon deal. In an effort to save her son, she died and Sam has had to live with the burden of guilt for the loss of his mother ever since. Sam, like Dean, loves his brother more than he loves his own life. As with his older brother, Sam has his own issues of low self esteem and low self worth. Sam has always felt like an outcast in his own family. He longed for safety and a normal life, fearing the loss of his own life as well as the lives of his brother and father. He never got to experience a normal family, had no memories of his mother and his father was never around. Sam’s parent was his brother. So it stands to reason that Sam always wanted more, that deep down he wanted a life that didn’t involve monsters, demons and things that go bump in the night. 

Sam also confessed to always feeling unclean, even as a small child, believing that he could never go on a quest such as Sir Galahad had done with King Arthur. Sam’s life was always being manipulated and controlled by outside dark forces. When Sam found out what was done to him as a child, he strived to be good, because he had to, because he couldn’t scrub his disease clean or rip it out. He had to take what was done to him and make the best of it. Sam spent his life battling the darkness within and with that Sam has become empathetic and patient and kind. He has an unwavering faith in both God and most of all in his brother and a perseverance and inner strength that has gotten him through the worst that this life has thrown at him. Still, Sam’s lack of worth has been his bane as it has for his brother. His belief that he is a failure and disappointment to Dean has led to his misperception that his brother sees him as such. This belief has driven Sam to the extremes he goes to for his brother, as much Dean does for him.

Sam has always shown his love for his brother in a different way than Dean has. Dean shows his love by breaking pacts/promises, Sam shows his love by keeping them. It’s still love folks. Sam was haunted by guilt when he couldn’t stop Dean from going to hell. He abided Dean’s wishes by not using his abilities and for that Dean suffered in hell. Sam further couldn’t get Dean out of hell, which exacerbated his guilt even further, breaking Sam to the point where he had fallen prey to Ruby. She gave Sam what he needed, a new purpose. If Sam can get to Lilith, perhaps he can save Dean. Even when Dean came back, Sam’s need to make it right for Dean didn’t dissipate. He still needed to atone for not saving his brother and in the end, he inadvertently raised Lucifer, and even worse, lost his brother’s trust. Sam spent all of Season 5 trying to earn that trust back and jumped in the pit, not only to save the world, but to atone to Dean for failing him.



When Sam found out he came back without a soul and learned what he did to innocents, Bobby and most of all to Dean, Sam was fraught with guilt once again. He did everything he could to try to atone, most especially putting his broken psyche together for his brother, because he wasn’t going to leave him alone. He was not going to disappoint his brother yet again. Sam was both emotionally and mentally unstable after Cas broke his wall, but Sam stayed strong, he kept it together and the reason he was able to do it was because of his brother. He did it for Dean. So when Dean was taken from him, Sam lost it. He broke. His every reason for being was taken from him and because he kept a promise he made to his brother, he spent a year grieving and running. He found solace in someone as broken has he was and put all his focus into saving her because he failed to save his brother. He lived in a fantasy because he couldn’t deal with his reality. When time has passed and he gathered the strength to face his life, he left the person who helped him through it, giving her a chance to reunite with her lost loved one. Sam might not have known what he would do next, but he went back to the one place where he felt at home, because it’s where his memories of his brother were...he returned to the cabin.

Upon Sam’s return he’s shocked and overjoyed to find his brother there alive. He still can’t believe his brother is standing in front of him. Then Sam learns the truth and the joy is overcome with sadness. Dean asks if Sam looked for him and when he explains to Dean that he thought he was dead, that he ran away from the life that took his family, that he kept a promise that they made to each other, Sam is utterly overcome with guilt and horror at the notion that Dean thinks Sam didn’t look for him, he left him in purgatory for a girl. In one flash Sam’s world is shattered by Dean’s total disregard of everything that Sam just told him. He once again feels a failure and a disappointment to his brother. So Sam can only do what he could think to do to atone to his brother for failing him, he takes on the trials and promises to show Dean the light at the end of the tunnel. Even when faced with the knowledge that he would die if he completed the trials, Sam’s heartbreaking “so” and his confession to dying being more preferable than disappointing his brother once again, was a clear indication that his inner monster was ready to take Sam down once and for all. It was Dean’s love that saved Sam.



In Season 9 Sam’s monster reared its ugly head once again. Exacerbated by Sam’s guilt and nightmares over killing Kevin, Sam questioned Dean’s motives for saving him and when Dean didn’t give Sam the answer he needed to hear, he misconstrued Dean’s answer as the reason Dean saved him was because he was afraid to be alone, and while that is in part the truth, it isn’t the only reason. Sam of course, due to his lack of self worth, believed that Dean only saved Sam so he wouldn’t be alone and for that reason only. This of course led to Sam’s proclamation that he wouldn’t have saved Dean in the same manner in the same circumstance. Sam would never go against Dean’s wishes. Of course, as I mentioned in pt 1, Dean misconstrued what Sam said and believed Sam wouldn’t save him at all.



Where is the lesson in acceptance, understanding and triumph? Well here we get to the part of the story where the brother’s get to walk in each other’s shoes. Due to the MOC, Dean can no longer run away from his issues. The mark is forcing Dean to face his demons. He has admitted to the fact that he’s always avoided his true fears through drinking or sheer denial. He’s more honest with himself and his brother. He’s confronting his monster head on. For the first time he’s coming to understand what it’s been like for Sam, having to live with this darkness inside of him and being forced to battle it every single day. He’s beginning to understand the choices Sam has made and coming to respect them for now he’s facing them too.

Sam too is walking in his brother’s shoes. He is starting to understand what it’s like to be the one who has to stand by watching, a witness to his brother’s disease, unable to fight it for him. He understands the need to do whatever it takes to save his brother, damned what he brother might say or think, because he can now comprehend Dean’s inability to accept his brother’s death while Dean now understands Sam’s acceptance of it. Oh the sweet Winchester irony.

The walk in each other’s shoes has given the brother’s an understanding of each other that they never had before. They each can see the other’s perspective and it’s brought them closer together as brothers. They are more honest with each other now and they are more honest with themselves. They can finally accept each other as they are both together and individually and they will have finally faced their inner demons head on and conquered them. They have forgone the relationship they’ve had as boys and now relate as the men they have become, triumphant against the worst monster they’ve ever had to face.....their monster within.

-End-

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A Walk In Your Shoes: A Lesson In Understanding, Acceptance and Triumph - Part One




























- by Guest Writer Anna

Here is a piece from Guest writer, Anna. Anna has been a long time commenter on my articles and always has excellent insight. I asked her if she'd be interested in doing an article for sweetondean, and she wrote a 2 part piece about a subject she and I have discussed quite a lot, the notion of season 10 showing that the brothers are walking in each other's shoes and how that will help them gain understanding and acceptance of themselves and each other.

You can find out more about Anna on our Team sweetondean page.

Here's part one, I hope you enjoy Anna's theories. Please let her know your thoughts in the comments.

-sweetondean



Dean Winchester is complicated. Heroism is very important to Dean. The life he chose to accept, that of a hunter, is a prime example of that. Dean has a need in him to save people. Dean also has his issues and it’s these issues that have been both a blessing and a curse. Dean’s issue of abandonment has made family very important to him. There is no doubt that he loves his brother more than he loves anyone or anything, but as with all siblings, it’s never all lollipops and candy canes. Dean’s fear of abandonment has affected his relationship with his brother in negative ways too. Dean also has issues of self loathing and self-doubt. All of Dean’s issues combined has created Dean’s personal monster, his belief that he is nothing more than a mere killer and it is Dean’s fear and inability to face this monster that nearly destroyed his relationship with his brother and has led to the current situation he’s in now.

Let’s revisit when Dean’s personal monster emerges in an effort to destroy him.


At the end of Season 7, Dean and Cas in an attempt to kill Dick Roman vanished in a sea of black goo. An emotionally unstable Sam, who had been through the psychological ringer since he returned from hell and got his soul back, was left in total shock after what he truly believed to be the death of his touchstone, his reason for putting his broken psyche back together in the first place, his best friend....his brother. He had just lost Bobby twice and now he lost Dean. Sam had no one left. He had no family. He had nobody truly close to him. He lost everything and everyone in that moment, including himself. As Sam so eloquently put it to Amelia, he imploded and ran. He ran away from the life that killed everyone he ever loved. He ran away from himself. Not too hard to understand given what he’s been through since he saved the world by jumping into the pit.

When Dean got out of purgatory, he was angry with Sam for not looking for him. Dean totally disregarded Sam when he told him that he thought he was dead and he couldn’t stay in the life that took everyone away from him. Dean accused Sam of leaving him in purgatory for a girl, a ludicrous notion that isn’t or ever could be true. Sam simply kept a promise. With all that these boys have experienced with demon deals and the consequences that resulted from it, they made a pact, that if either should die, to leave them dead. No more deals. No more trying to get the other back. This was a promise made by two brothers and Sam kept to his word. When he believed with all his heart that his brother died, Sam didn’t try to bring him back or make deals. He instead did what Dean wanted, and as such Sam grieved and broke and lived a life that wasn’t truly his, all to escape the loss of the one he loved most. Sam tried as best he could to let his brother go, because he loved him that much and it’s what Dean said he wanted.

So why then was Dean really angry? Dean jumped to the wrong conclusion not based on what Sam did, but based on his own issues and anger with himself. Firstly, Sam didn’t leave Dean in purgatory, but Cas did. Cas was the one who took off on Dean and left him alone to fend for himself. Dean spent his time in purgatory looking for Cas only to find out from Cas that he abandoned him. Cas had his reason, he was trying to protect Dean from the Levis as Cas believed himself to be a beacon, but I don’t believe that Dean saw that as anything more than Cas ditching him, leaving Dean to fight the monsters alone.

Secondly, Dean believed he left Cas in purgatory. He brought a vampire out with him, but he left Cas behind. He not only left Cas behind, but when he got out he told Sam Cas was dead. Dean never did anything to try to rescue Cas once topside.

Thirdly, Dean appreciated purgatory, even found contentment and a peace there. Sam wasn’t around to keep Dean human, so in essence, he became the killer he always believed himself to be. It wasn’t that he killed to survive, that was of course a necessity, but it was the fact that he enjoyed the kill, he found a freedom in it and an inner calm.

Dean’s resentment towards Sam isn’t because he left him in purgatory and Dean suffered down there, his resentment lies in the fact that he didn’t suffer down there. His anger at Sam stems from the fact that Sam wasn’t with him to keep him human and because of that Dean became the killer he always believed himself to be.


Finally, we have Dean’s friendship with Benny. The origin of their bond came from blackmail. If Dean wasn’t Benny’s ticket out of purgatory, Benny would’ve drank Dean on the spot. They used each other as a means for survival, if you think about it, that’s not unlike the relationship between Sam and Amelia. Dean and Benny were a kindred spirit. Benny is nothing like Sam. Where Sam would’ve kept Dean’s humanity intact, with Benny, Dean can kill without remorse, or guilt. He was free. There was a bond between the two. When Dean was topside, he needed to believe that Benny was more than he truly was. Dean needed to believe Benny was the exception to Dean’s very own monster rule, because if Benny wasn’t, then Dean would have to face his own dark self. He needed to believe that Benny who was a human, still had humanity left otherwise Dean would be nothing more than a monster himself.

Dean nearly destroyed his relationship with his brother in his attempt to deny the truth. When Sam couldn’t take Dean’s emotional abuse anymore, and when Dean, in his effort to keep Sam and Benny apart for fear that Sam would learn the real truth about what happened in purgatory, Dean sent Sam that despicable text, ultimately causing Sam to give Dean an ultimatum. Dean had to choose what valued most to him and of course he chose his brother. This ultimatum of course angered Dean, not so much because he had to let Benny go, but because he was forced to face the truth, a truth he has spent the first half of the season avoiding.


Dean’s inability to face his own demons has led to his current situation. Dean left Sam on that bridge and sought to punish himself rather than face his fear head on. Sure he knew Sam would be angry, but he never dreamed Kevin would die by Sam’s hands. The trickery and deception to keep Sam with him has completely gotten out of his control. The consequences of his actions were more than he can take and with that Dean ran. He ran from his brother, he was once again running from the truth. Instead of dealing with his fears, he punished himself for them and took on the Mark of Cain and the burden that comes with it.

Sam asked Dean in The Purge what the upside to his being alive was. Dean answered that it was the two of them fighting the good fight. Nowhere in that answer did Dean give Sam what he needed to hear. Sam needed to know that Dean kept him alive because he mattered to Dean. Dean’s answer made it seem like Dean only wanted Sam around because he feared being alone. This of course is in part the truth. Dean’s fear of what he would become without Sam in his life is one of the main reasons why Dean goes to the extremes he does. What Dean failed to let Sam understand was that it’s not the only reason. Sam does in fact matter to Dean more than anything, because he loves him more than he loves anything. Sam’s hurt leads him to telling Dean that he wouldn’t save Dean the same way in the same circumstances. Sam would never go against Dean’s wishes. Dean’s low self esteem misconstrues Sam’s words and has Dean believing Sam wouldn’t save him at all. Dean is so blinded by guilt and self pity, that he doesn’t notice that contrary to what Sam said, Sam’s actions illustrates the complete opposite. What happens to Dean next is his worst nightmare come true. He becomes the very thing he’s always feared himself to be. He’s become the very thing he’s always fought against being. He became the very monster that killed his parents. The thing is, had Dean been able to face his fear, to deal with his monster head on, to stay on that bridge and talk to his brother, to admit to Sam what and why he did what he did, he wouldn’t be in the precarious situation he is in now.


Monday, 6 April 2015

SPOILERS SWEETIES! Promotional Photos Supernatural 10x18 "Book of the Damned"




The next episode might be over a week away, but we have pictures and we have a lot of them! 
Look at all of them! Because they are...

1. Glorious!
2. Interesting!
3. Very worrying!
4. Funny!
5. Still very worrying! 
6. Really, really worrying,
7, Meep!








I'm really loving Sam's little satchel that he's been sporting of late. I guess it's a laptop bag, but it's super cute what ever it is. I bet he found it all dusty in the Men of Letters somewhere and thought it would be handy to stash his computer, and maybe a knife or gun or two. He looks like a gigantic schoolboy!


Yay Charlie! She went off on her quest and found the book!



Who's cabin is this? Do we know? Is it one of Charlie's hideouts? 
Or does it belong to the owner of the book? 

Dean looks ridiculously young in this photo and Sam looks ridiculously adorable with is little worried face and Mary Tyler Moore bob! :D

What's in the box! There looks like lots of good reseearch is going on in this episode, but I have a feeling it's not going to go anywhere *wibble*

I love Charlie, I'm looking forward to seeing her again! And I love Dean and Charlie. 


What on earth is this place with the animal on the wall! Ewwwww.


SAMMMMMY DON'T DO WHTEVER YOU'RE ABOUT TO DO!


Don't do it Sam. DON'T DO IT!

Bless. He still can't hold up an ID.

Angel? Cas be holding an angel blade, so my guess is yes.
Nice to see Cas wrapped up Metatron's leg.


Is there blood on that blade... I think there is. I love badassed Cas!

Look at this fantastic diner set. I totally want to go eat there. 
And I totally want to eat whatever the Fraggle is eating!

OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT? I WANT IT!



So we have 6 episodes and 6 weeks left until the end of the season. 
No more breaks.

OH MY GOD! WHAT ARE WE IN FOR?! 
I'M NOT READY!
Give me your theories! The ones that have bunnies and rainbows!



OH WHO AM I KIDDING! IT'S GOING TO BE THIS!




FOLLOWED BY THIS...




-sweetondean