I'll start by saying I liked this episode. That's two episodes already involving Valentine's Day and not once has the show ever had the boys acknowledge the other's birthday, what's up with that? Anyhoo, as I was saying, I love when a seemingly run of the mill monster of the week episode can stir up those thinky thoughts and when all is said and done you realise that the episode was so much more than what we saw on the surface. It's one of the reasons why this show is so damn awesome and successful. I don't know of any other show that causes one to go into such deep analytical reflection as this show does. It's really a question for the ages, what is it that makes us all delve deeper? If anyone has the answer to that one, please clue me in.
Although this seemed like nothing more than the average monster of the week, it was so much more. I'm going to share with you all the thoughts that ran through my head after watching twice now.
This is the second episode in a row now that I've felt the presence of a fallen character. Last week it was Bobby and this week.....Mary Winchester. If one were to think Mary to be missing from Supernatural, I'd say the contrary, that she is ever present in Sam Winchester. I've always felt her presence in Sam, don't get me wrong, but I really felt it in this one. As I watched Dean finally come clean to Sam, I was in awe once again of Sam's unending patience, faith and unconditional love for his brother, which really is only equivocal to a mother's love for her child. I don't have to go on and on regarding this scene. It was the best part of the episode. It was just really a simple reminder to Dean and us that Dean didn't bear the only "parental" role. Sam has always been a "mother" to Dean as much as Dean has been a "father" to him. The two of them together make up the entire Winchester Family, Mom, Dad, Sam and Dean, so really even though not physically present, Mom and Dad have always been "there". I was reminded of that after watching Sam listen to Dean. Sam wasn't at all surprised at what Dean had to say. He knew. I had read comments from people regarding how Sam didn't hear Crowley when he made the comment about Amara being Dean's girlfriend. Sam had listened. Sam just waited. He knew his brother needed time and he didn't push. Sam also said everything Dean needed to hear. There was no blame. There was no shame. There was nothing but complete understanding that Dean is not weak. He's not complacent. He has no choice, that he is dealing with God's freaking sister. What chance did he have? Sam voiced everything we've all been saying. As with Sam's confessional, this was Dean's. He's shared both his guilt and his shame and Sam responded in a way to relieve him of his burden, not unlike what Dean did for Sam not two weeks earlier. It was a beautiful thing to watch.
Did anyone else feel the winds of change in this episode beside me? I must say that when this episode ended, I felt a tinge of hope for the Winchesters.
There are reasons for my thinking this, so I'll just lay it on you.
Sam was angry with Dean for kissing Melissa. I understood why that was. While on the surface it seemed like a heroic move, if we look deeper, as Sam did in that moment, we see once again that Dean's martyrdom didn't really solve the dilemma, it just created a new one. That's always been a problem, Dean not considering the consequences of his actions. The jumping in first asking questions later. It's how he got in this pickle in the first place, taking on the mark without any consideration at all. I think what Sam is basically saying here is that acting without thinking isn't always a good or heroic action, even if one might think it is at the time. Sam had heard that there could be consequences for saving Dean, but he was never told what they were. In Sam's mind Dean was more the problem so he rationalised that any consequences that might result by saving Dean was worth the risk. I think Sam's reaction to Dean taking the curse makes sense, given he's experienced first hand, serious consequences. Once again we are seeing the new and improved mature relationship these boys have now. Sam was angry because there might have been another way for Dean to have helped without sacrificing anyone. I felt like this could be foreshadowing and this got me to feel "oh so hopeful".
Sam will be taking the wheel now when it comes to Amara, but what I felt to be so significant is how it all plays out. Dean has always had faith in Sam, but I felt like this time, Dean's faith was so blatant that it made me do this :D :D. Dean willingly relinquished control to Sam as opposed to Sam taking control as he did when he took over the trials. HOLY HELL if that's not character growth then what is? Not only do I have total faith in Sam, but Dean does as well. We've seen it more and more since the beginning of this season. I believe Sam to be more than capable of taking the reins. Sam is analytical, he thinks things through and he's most definitely learnt from past mistakes. He's ready to die and he's ready to watch the people he loves die, but that doesn't mean it has to come to that. Sam is forewarned now. He can better prepare. He can use this knowledge to their advantage and find a way to stop the D possibly without having to sacrifice either one of them. Sam, after all, has been Mr. Plan B of late, so that alone gives me hope.
Lastly we have what will go down to be the most famous of the ROCK PAPER SCISSORS battle between Sam and Dean. I found the entire scene to be metaphorical for Dean's growth/change. For the last ten years, well more actually, Dean has always lost to Sam in this little battle. Dean always doing the same thing, over and over and in doing so, always losing. This time Dean changed. He took a different approach and he didn't lose, he in fact finally won. I really believe that RPS is symbolic of Dean's character growth.
I really think that the boys can handle what's to come. Sam might have to handle Amara, but let's not think for a moment that Dean has no significant role to play here. Lucifer is out there as well. The boys most definitely have a full plate, but like I said, there's a change in the air folks. I have much hope that the Winchesters will once again be successful, in a way that doesn't end up necessarily through sacrifice.
Until next week.
Read Anna's thinky thoughts from last week here
Read sweetondean's review of "Love Hurts" here