- by Melissa
Melissa is back with part 2 of her series on rescues - this time, it's Sam rescuing Dean. Don't forget to let her know your picks in the comments!
For some reason I actually found this list slightly harder than Dean’s rescues of Sam. Not too sure why. Without wasting any time, let’s jump right into it.
Number 1: Reuniting with Dean at the orchard: Scarecrow
After disputing over whether they should follow their father’s instructions and check out a town, or dismiss the order and track down John themselves wherever he’s at, Sam decides to ditch Dean and hitchhike on his own. Their separation proves all the more perilous for Dean when he winds up captured by the townsfolk and is served to be a sacrifice to this pagan god currently taking possession of a scarecrow (just go with it). Despite their disagreements concerning their father, it’s awesome that Sam still follows after his brother once struck with a bad feeling that something might be amiss. Even Meg, this extra suspicious random hitchhiker who relates to Sam in every regard and SO is not a demon (sarcasm aside, truthfully I didn’t predict that reveal, so shame on me), wonders why he’d go back to a brother who he describes as being controlling and suffocating. All Sam has to say to Meg is, “He’s my family,” and we instantly understand.
Number 2: Finding the faith-healer: Faith
What do you know? This episode directly follows Scarecrow! Man, two meaningful rescues one after the other. Heart severely damaged from electrocution, Dean’s survival depends on Sam being able to track down this farfetched idea of a miracle worker and convincing his cynical brother to try it out. What makes these particular rescues stand out so much is that they aren’t just black-and-white, hero coming to save the day level of simplicity. As a consequence to this healer curing Dean of his condition, some other innocent man was transferred his affliction and died. Someone had to be sacrificed for our hero to live.
Obviously our heroes didn’t know that, but some speculate if Sam would’ve gone through with it anyway. Until this episode, we never really got the sense of just how far these two would go for each other, and how desperate they become when one of them is in danger. In that hospital Sam couldn’t even fathom Dean coming to terms with his death, because for him that wasn’t an option. Oh, and it’d be remiss of me not to mention the hoodie Dean wears in the beginning of the episode when he’s sick. Yes, the hoodie is a thing among us fans. Don’t question us.
Number 3: Facing the prophecy of his death: Hunted
Informed by a fellow psychic named Ava that he would be, well, blown up pretty damn soon, these vital details are ultimately dispensed with when Sam receives a call from Dean and learns that he’s being held captive by the hunter, Gordon. Warned insistently by Ava not to go to that location in fear that her vision might be fulfilled, once again Sam repeats the mantra of them being family and goes anyway, though he is extra cautious in lieu of the information he’s been given.
Bloody and bruised, he valiantly strides over to Dean and unties him from the chair. Of course none of this probably would’ve happened had Sam not have ditched Dean to begin with. Sam, just stop taking off on your own! Whenever you do, something befalls your brother and you have to go back to rescue him!
Number 4: Confronting the Trickster: Mystery Spot
Somewhere in my top ten favourite episodes, this one is always rolling about. Plenty of laughs are to be had over the course of Dean’s innumerable deaths, but the rescue aspect of the episode comes near the end, when a certain death falling on a Wednesday seems to be permanent. Half a year Sam devotes himself to hunting down the Trickster . . . The Trickster, who never falls victim to the weaknesses of every other trickster, appears invincible and is SO not an angel (again, dummy me didn’t see that revelation coming). Upon finding not-Gabriel, he demands that he return him to that original Wednesday so that Dean doesn’t have to die. Lesson the obvious-but-not-obvious-to-me-angel is trying to teach Sam is that there’s no point in these two striving to keep each other alive, when their very lifestyle dooms them to a bloody ending. Someday they will have to watch the other die, and one of them will have to accept that death is irreversible, even though they technically reverse their deaths every other week.
Resistant to this very important life lesson, Sam wins in the end and they’re returned to that Wednesday, Dean alive and all the more huggable.
Number 5: Slaying Paris Hilton: Fallen Idols
You read that right. There’s a point in the show where Sam, honest to God, has to slay Paris Hilton. Okay, so it’s not really her, just another pagan god assuming the appearance of Paris Hilton (wouldn’t we all assume that form?), but that doesn’t stop Sam from laughing at Dean that he seriously needed rescuing from her. Is this scene emotional?: No. Does it reveal any deep layers about the brotherly relationship?: Nope. Did it require an exceptional sacrifice on Sam’s part?: Not at all. So why is it on the list? Because it’s funny and weird.
Non-Paris Hilton is beating the crap out of Dean, so Sam decapitates her, then reasonably begins to laugh at his brother. There’s not much more I want from a scene.
Number 6: Performing surgery: Changing Channels
How many out there can say you saved your brother’s life by actually performing SURGERY on the guy? Well, presumably no one since doctors technically aren’t authorised to operate on family members, but whatever.
During a hospital soap opera the brothers are forced to reenact, a bereaved husband shoots Dean in the back. Before they know it, Sam has to literally play doctor and partake in the scenario by removing the bullet and stitching Dean back up. Like I said, I enjoy things that are funny and weird.
Number 7: Overcoming Lucifer: Swan Song
Feels superfluous recapping a scene as famous and beloved as this one, but hey, I got nothing better to do! Right as Lucifer, currently in possession of Sam, is about to deliver the hundredth punch to Dean’s already rearranged face, something catches his eye. Jammed in the interior of the impala is none other than an army man, causing a wave of nostalgia to wash over the stupefied vessel. Memories reinforce Sam to take back control over his body and bury Lucifer in suppression, where he then proceeds to lock himself away in hell for all eternity. In terms of motivation, sure, you can say that Sam did all that to prevent the apocalypse and save the world, but let’s be real. It wasn’t memories of the world that inspired Sam, but of his brother. Sam’s inner spirit didn’t reawaken while destroying the world, but while pummelling Dean.
One of my problems with a lot of stories that introduce end-of-the-world storylines, is that I never feel all that invested. Naturally the world isn’t going to end, so why should I care? Disaster movies bore me for that reason, because it relies solely on the entertainment of watching nameless people dying and sometimes recognisable buildings and monuments being destroyed. Yay, I guess. Our show does it right, though. No matter how high the stakes get, it always comes down to the brothers. Personalise your apocalyptic stakes by putting in people we care about and make the journey revolve around their growth and wellbeing.
Number 8: Consulting Lucifer: Repo Man
Originally I wasn’t going to include this one on my list, mainly because it simply isn’t one of my favourites. Due to it being really popular, however, I figure I might as well throw it in instead of something else I was going to have. Why do people regard it so fondly? Dean went missing and Sam was beginning to lose it, so he indulged his hallucinations and started communing with the imaginary Lucifer eclipsing his reality in order to solve the case. Consequently Sam lost all control over these hallucinations, thus is victim to Lucifer persistently pestering him and causing his eventual insomnia that nearly cost him his life. Why was I so reluctant to have this scene included? Frankly it’s because I find the rescue itself less than spectacular. Sam and that Wicca lady show up, Dean’s able to tackle the kid villain after working his hands out of the ropes tying him to the chair, and then the climax. Even the ending exchange between the brothers isn’t anything all that significant, with Dean declaring that he’s going to bed. Don’t get me wrong. I love this episode, just about as much as I love every Ben Edlund episode, as he happens to be my favourite writer for the show. Considering that Sam’s sacrifice here did mean a lot to fans, I’ll go ahead and throw it in. Hell, it’s more meaningful than Sam killing Paris Hilton, yet I included that one, so why not this?
Number 9: Sanctified blood cure: Soul Survivor
Turned into a demon by the Mark of Cain, it falls on Sam to track down Dean and drag him back home. Took over six weeks to get it done, but finally Sam managed to track down his demonized brother. From there Sam had to steal blood from a hospital that he had blessed by a priest (dude, who steals blood from a hospital?) and administer much of it to the defiant demon. This might have been one of the most draining rescues for Sam, who had to put up with Dean’s constant barrage of hurtful insults and uncalled for accusations that he was responsible for the death of their mother. Plus the cure itself appeared to be causing excruciating pain for Dean, which made the ordeal all the more stressful. To top it all off, then Dean busts out of his confines and chases Sam all throughout the bunker with a hammer!
Perseverance won out, with Cas and Sam both recapturing Dean and diligently finishing the blood cure until he was completely cured of his demonism. Sam’s relieved smile at the end when he welcomes Dean back was absolutely visceral. Everyone could just feel the relief Sam felt at that moment, overjoyed to have his brother back. Upon declaring his plans for the night to get drunk, I wanted to join right along after that exhausting run of episodes.
Number 10: Removing the Mark: Brother’s Keeper
Through the whole run of an entire season, we had Sam endeavouring to find some solution to that abominable Mark infecting Dean and altering his temperament, fearful that he would someday lose his brother for good, should it remain on his arm. Rescues never come easy, but this one in particular involved Sam doing extensive research, sneaking around Dean’s back and salvaging the Book of the Damned, imprisoning the dangerous witch, Rowena, so that she may interpret the book, going after the Werther Box so that he may obtain the codex inside, hunting Crowley and making an attempt on his life, and probably a hundred other gruelling tasks. Add the guilt he suffered after recruiting the help of Charlie, which eventually got her murdered, and you’re surprised Sam’s head hasn’t just exploded yet! Yet he stays his course and carries on, determined to free Dean from the Mark. Finale showed Rowena finally completing the spell, resulting in bolts of lightning ripping the Mark right off of Dean’s arm and unleashing an unspeakable force known only as The Darkness.
With as many times as these two have brought the world to the edge of destruction, you’d think the demons would be more appreciative of them. Next season should be like that year on the television show, Angel, where the evil law firm, Wolfram and Hart, invited the heroes to work for them because they’ve inadvertently done so much harm to the planet in such a short span of years. Regardless of The Darkness being unleashed, I for one am happy that Sam was able to pull through for Dean. Perhaps that’s why this list was harder than the previous one. Altogether Dean’s rescues of Sam have just been more monumental and successful, whereas Sam has been left with a whole lot of failed attempts, like Dean going to Hell or Purgatory. Thanks to the results of season ten, I finally feel like the rescues have been equalised a bit, now that Sam has gone above and beyond in removing the Mark of Cain, come what may.
Any essential ones that I missed? As I mentioned before, these two save each other a lot, so there were multiple instances I had to leave out. What’s that? I should’ve made room for more important rescues by taking out the Paris Hilton one? Never! This is my list! Please tell me yours in the comments.
Part 1 Top Ten Rescues of Sam by Dean