Here is part 2 of Guest Writer, Melissa's Top Ten Brotherly things! It's time for Sammy to shine!
Enjoy! And don't forget to let her know your picks in the comments!
In part one, we looked at Dean's brotherly acts, now let’s take a look at Sam, whose random acts of brotherly kindness are easily equal to Dean’s own version of compassion. Unlike Dean and the previous list, Sam does not display many examples of shielding or protecting his brother. His acts of kindness focus more on relieving his big brother of stress and making him feel as comfortable as possible, such as all those times he offers to be there and listen to Dean’s qualms, whether they’re about his guilt over their father’s death, or his experience in hell. Here we go.
Number 1: Sam offering to board the plane without Dean - PHANTOM TRAVELLER
It might not stand out as much, but I consider this to be a pretty notable act in and of itself. Phobic of flying, this disputably embarrassing fear is finally shared with a surprised Sam by an anxious Dean, reluctant to board the airplane that’s currently carrying a demon in the midst of all the unsuspecting passengers. Informed of Dean’s lifelong phobia, it is at this moment that Sam recommends that he board the plane without Dean, leaving Sam to take care of the case on his own. Rather than deride his brother for his trepidation, or respond with exasperation for failing to capably back him up as a levelheaded partner like usual, Sam merely acknowledges Dean’s reservations and opts to work the case solo. People really shouldn’t make fun of other’s phobias (something Dean is admittedly guilty of when it concerns Sam’s understandable issue with clowns!). And it is Sam’s respectful response to Dean’s confession that always made me applaud him in this very brief but informative scene.
Number 2: Sam letting Dean sleep around - THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
Audacious for the third season of our show to actually begin with Dean giddily fornicating with twins, his poor little brother left waiting outside in the Impala with nothing to do but research the potential breakability of Dean's Hellbound crossroad deal. After the trauma of walking in on his brother in the middle of the act (which I never understood. What exactly did Sam expect to find walking into that motel moments after seeing Dean through the window bed these two women!), they ride together in the car in pursuit of another case. During the ride Dean offhandedly thanks Sam for allowing him to indulge his more licentious side, to which his brother responds, practically mumbling, “You deserve to have some fun.” Anyone can tell you that the underlying incentive behind this remark is Sam’s despondent realisation that Dean might have just a year left to live. What kind of brother would he be if he were to deprive Dean of joy during his final year? Similar to someone granting the final wishes of a friend or family member dying of cancer. It's incontestable that Dean does indeed deserve some fun, which makes him lucky he has someone like Sam to make sure he does. Now if only Dean would put up a "Do not disturb” sign on the door...
Number 3: Sam throwing Dean Christmas - A VERY SUPERNATURAL CHRISTMAS
I bet everyone saw this one coming! How can you not? It’s a no-brainer! With his immanent demise ever approaching=, Dean in the final months of his life voices his urge to celebrate the merriest holiday with Sam, seeing as this will be his last Christmas. Mindful of the stark reality that by next year, his brother will be roasting in hell, unsurprisingly Sam isn’t exactly in the mood to string up Christmas lights and chug eggnog. Despite his glumness, however, Sam pushes aside his despair and throws Dean the most impromptu Christmas party ever, where the two exchange gifts and watch the game together. Though Sam’s spirits weren’t in it, he buried his misery and pretended like they didn’t have hellhounds biting at Dean’s heels, giving his brother one last memory of Christmas he’d never forget. Has anyone wondered why there’s never been another Christmas episode since this one? They’ll probably never be able to top it, but I’d still like to see them do another one, wouldn’t you? Just imagine the brothers building a snowman and buying each other something a little more extravagant than oil for the Impala and porn!
Number 4: Sam attending to Dean through his ghost sickness - YELLOW FEVER
Nothing too profuse, but another Sammy act I’ve come to appreciate. Reminiscent of when Dean expressed his terror of boarding an aeroplane, for the most part Sam appears very considerate and understanding towards his brother’s inclination to freak out, as ghost sickness causes Dean to cower at every turn. Sam requests that their motel room be switched to one on the first floor to assuage Dean of his fear of heights. He doesn’t pressure Dean to use a gun when he timidly volunteers to hold the flashlight instead! He deters Dean from scratching at his irritated arm, etc. Derision is once again supplanted with considerable patience and lots of compromising, even authorising Dean to stay indoors while Bobby comes in to serve as Sam’s backup. The only time Sam does allow himself to poke fun at Dean’s unusual cowardice, is at the very end alongside Bobby, long after the ghost sickness has been cured and is no longer a threat to his brother’s life. There’s a time and place for everything, and Sam’s mockery of Dean is very well timed!
Number 5: Sam refusing their alternative lives: THE FRENCH MISTAKE
This parallel Universe features the brothers as none other than the unbelievably wealthy actors, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, starring in a television show about Sam and Dean's lives! Wackiness ensues. When Dean contemplates the desirable option of remaining in this safer Universe where affluence and simplicity is theirs, along with the bonus of having fake Ruby as Sam’s wife, his little brother doesn’t appear to consider it for an instant. Because in this Universe, they’re not even brothers (man). It's a deal-breaker for Sam. He would always choose an intangible bloodline over a life of luxury and safety. And that’s enough for Dean to agree with Sam’s counterpoint and decide to return home to their life of poverty and danger where everything wants to kill them...
Number 6: Sam stealing the giant slinky for Dean- PLUCKY PENNYWHISTLE'S MAGICAL MENAGERIE
On a case to solve the mystery of children’s worst nightmares taking form and killing their parents, together the brothers have to investigate a gaudy family entertainment playground/restaurant overrun by Sam's worst nightmare! Clowns! Personally I’m with Sam here, this place looked terrifying! Interrogations of the employees are being held by Sam, while Dean is off scouting out clues, and trying to earn enough tickets for a toy slinky! Wow, Dean really is adorable, isn’t he? The case is solved with both the brothers reuniting in hilarity, as Dean laughs uproariously at Sam’s glittery aftermath with the homicidal clowns (gosh, this was a weird episode. I didn’t even mention the horn-stabbing, rainbow-farting unicorn yet!) Much to Dean’s surprise and utter glee, it’s revealed that Sam actually stole the slinky his brother had yet to win! It makes me wonder how exactly Sam knew Dean was eyeing the slinky in the first place, unless offscreen they ever spoke of this particular prize. But I like to imagine that these brothers know each other so well, that Sam instinctively knew the giant slinky would delight his big brother, and went the extra mile of stealing it for him and delivering it as a present! The brotherly moment is hilariously concludes with Dean also giving Sam a present... none other than a hideous clown doll, which Sam appropriately leaves behind!
Number 7: Sam buying Dean a burger and fries after returning from Purgatory - WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Yet another one that might not sound all that noteworthy in terms of benevolence, but the subtlety speaks volumes to me. Fresh out of the warlike zone of Purgatory, Sam offers to share a can of beans with his brother. The meal is turned down, as Dean is still recovering from the rush and trauma of that purgatorial battlefield. Next day Sam doesn’t bother asking this time, instead simply buying a burger and fries and sliding the tray over to a presumably famished Dean. The excitement Dean exudes is the equivalent of a child receiving an ice-cream cone from their parent, where he hardly even hears Sam’s discussion about the case while lovingly biting into the "treasure" burger, something he hadn't tasted for over a year. Afterwards Sam dismisses Dean’s gratitude as it just being a burger and nothing special, downplaying the offering, but I believe somewhere inside, the little brother sensed just how dearly the Purgatory survivor needed this. Serving him the burger and fries is comparable to Dean preparing a sickly Sam soup.
Number 8: Sam extracting the First Blade in Dean’s stead: KING OF THE DAMNED
Haunted by that memory of Dean’s initial reaction to using the First Blade, where he appeared to be in some kind of trance, on the night of the retrieval of this legendary weapon Sam volunteers to obtain it for his big brother. So what’s the big deal with offering to pick up some blade for Dean? It happens to be buried in a particularly ripe corpse of a man they just dug up, courtesy of the morbid Crowley! Forget Sam rescuing Dean from all the innumerable demons and vampires and crazed hunters. No, THIS should go down as one of Sam’s noblest feats! I mean, seriously, he willingly digs his hand and rummages inside the torso of a malodorous corpse, just so that Dean doesn’t have to touch a blade. If touching the blade turned my brother into a stick, I STILL wouldn’t have put my hand anywhere near that corpse!
Number 9: Sam appearing to have cleaned the dead Dean’s face - DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES
Stabbed by Metatron, it is mere minutes later that Dean succumbs to his wound and dies in the arms of his heartbroken brother. Unseen was the subsequent process of Sam driving the corpse of Dean home and carrying him into the bunker. Based on the relative lack of blood on Dean’s face once he’s laid out on the bed, we’re left to fill in the blanks as Sam must have gone through the unpleasant chore of washing his brother’s facial bruises and lacerations. For Sam to have carried home Dean and washed him of the blood previously coating his face, it must have been an unbearable process for the mourning brother, which really makes the love behind of it all truly shine through. It wasn’t enough to just transport his brother back home, but to also make him presentable... a courtesy I sadly doubt the newly demonised Dean noticed, let alone appreciated all that much upon awakening.
Number 10: Sam watching Three Stooges over a grilled cheese sandwich - THE THINGS WE LEFT BEHIND
New as this scene is, I already consider it a classic. Worried about his brother’s mental state while under the influence of the Mark of Cain, out of the kitchen comes Sam, serving Dean a grilled cheese sandwich. Amused by Dean apparently falling into hysterics over watching The Three Stooges, Sam soon accepts Dean's invitation to sit down, laughing together at the slapstick. As someone who routinely bugs my brother to watch my favourite shows alongside me, this resonates as a significant act on Sam’s part! Trivial as it may seem, sometimes just sitting down and watching TV with someone, sharing some laughs, can greatly appease a troubled person. Escapism is an attribute of television, allowing someone like Dean to momentarily ignore his problems and focus on the mindless shenanigans of three comic performers. What reinforces such escapism is being able to enjoy those shenanigans with a loved one. Thank goodness Sammy makes himself available to share this broment with Dean (even though I personally would’ve preferred to watch Buster Keaton classics.)
There you have it. Do you agree with this list? Are there other acts of kindness, excluding rescues, the brothers have carried out that you feel deserve to be mentioned?