Monday, 30 October 2017

Supernatural Think Tank - Anna's Thoughts on Patience



ANNA'S THOUGHTS ON PATIENCE


Old Habits Die Hard

The scene between Sam and Dean at the end of Patience reminded me a lot of Southern Comfort. Dean had taken out his deep rooted anger on his brother and said some pretty hurtful things to Sam.  We learnt  a week later, when watching A Little Slice of Kevin, that Dean  had projected his own issues onto his brother when he accused him of leaving him in purgatory for a girl. The truth of the matter was, as we learnt in A Little Slice of Kevin, was that Dean's issues were with Cas. Dean took all of that guilt and anger he felt towards himself and towards Cas and laid it at his brother's feet.




Dean is once again lashing out  but this time he's projecting his issues onto Jack. This isn't about whether Jack will or won't be evil. Dean pointed out that when he sees Jack he sees everyone they lost. Sam reminded Dean that Mary chose to engage Lucifer. She's their mother and she was protecting her children.  Crowley killed himself. This was his choice.  Lest we not forget that Crowley was the one who decided to alter the spell so Lucifer would be free just so he can enact his revenge. Dean has convinced himself that Jack brainwashed Cas likely because Dean can't accept the fact that Cas made his own choice to protect Jack. This isn't the first time Dean faulted a decision made by Cas.  Dean gave Cas plenty of grief for killing Billie, which is likely why we saw Cas where he was at episode's end. I think Dean yelling at Sam like he did was his instinctive defence mechanism to keep Sam from having Dean face a truth he's not ready for. Sam pointed out that Mary made the choice of fighting Lucifer, and I believe with every fibre of my being that if Dean didn't start yelling at Sam, Sam would've also brought up the fact that Cas chose to protect Jack. Dean distracted Sam from saying anything when he accused him of not caring about Jack.

Cas chose to save Jack because Jack showed him a future where there is peace. I also think Cas could sense his goodness, much the same way Kelly felt Jack's love.  Dean is assuming that Cas has been manipulated. We don't know that's the case at all. Personally I believe Jack did show Cas the future, only it wasn't of this world.  I still think Jack's true destiny is to save the A/U world, that this is the world that Jack lifts to it's feet.   I don't think Cas was manipulated one iota.   Cas made a decision to protect Jack.  He accepted the role of guardian and promised Kelly that he would do everything he could to keep Jack safe, safe from everyone and that included Dean Winchester if need be.  Lucifer saw Cas as a threat, a threat of having a relationship with his son and killed him.  Dean's now full of rage and  Jack is the scapegoat. The way I see it, I believe Dean's real anger is towards Cas. Dean's enraged at Cas for the choice he made. Of course Dean's defence mechanism is denial.  Dean is  convincing himself that Cas was manipulated by Jack.  Truth of the matter is, Dean can't face the fact that Cas chose to look after Jack of his own free will.   It's Cas' own choices that led to the circumstance that got him killed.  It was not Jack's fault.  Dean blaming Jack for Cas' death is as illogical as blaming an infant for their mother dying during childbirth.

Grief     

This episode really highlights the contrasts between Sam and Dean's manner in which they handle grief. Sam's way of dealing with his grief is to focus his attention on saving people.  Back in s8, when Sam lost Dean, he focused on saving Amelia. He couldn't save his brother, but at least he could help her.  In this case, Sam is dealing with his pain  by keeping his faith that his mom is alive and focusing on a way to save her.  His focus isn't only on his mother though, because deep down I fear that maybe Sam fears as Dean does, that the possibility does exist and Lucifer has indeed killed his mom.  If it's true and Sam is too late to save his mom, then he damned well will do what he can to save Jack too.  It's not just about Sam using Jack's skills to open the rift , Sam genuinely cares for this boy. Sam sees a kindred spirit in Jack.  He empathizes with his situation and doesn't believe that Jack has to follow a dark path.  Sam truly does believe Jack can and deserves the chance to be saved.   Sam hasn't forgotten about Dean.  He's very much aware of what's going on with his brother.  There's no one who understands the intricacies of Dean Winchester better than Sam.  Sam can see through Dean and get beneath the surface...it's why he's always so understanding and empathetic and patient when it comes to Dean, especially in times of grief.

Dean on the other hand becomes blind and enraged when he is dealing with grief.  He doesn't handle loss well and instead of focusing on a way to handle it in a productive manner, he lashes out at most everyone and everything.  He sometimes sees only what he wants to see and believes only what he wants to believe and quite often displaces his anger onto other people instead of who he's truly angry with. He's also so consumed with his own feelings of anger/grief, he doesn't or maybe can't  see it in others. Dean's accusation about Sam only using Jack is only in part true. Dean is unable to see the bigger picture here, he doesn't understand Sam in the same way that Sam understands Dean.  It's not only about Sam's need to save his mom, but why he needs to save his mom.  This is pretty ironic, given the similarity between Dean's dealing with his mom's death, and the way Sam dealt with Dean's death back in s7.  The only difference really is that Sam didn't know Dean was in Purgatory, he believed his brother had died and thus dealt with this grief the way he always does, by focusing on someone else and trying to save them.   Dean knows where Mary is, and chooses or perhaps needs to believe she's dead because he can't save her.

It's not just about saving his mother.  Sam also needs to save Jack. Sam is flat out telling Dean why. He is explaining to him how he felt like the freak, that he was the one drinking the demon blood, that he deserved the bullet his father wanted to put into him....and that it was Dean who wouldn't do it...it was Dean who fought for Sam. Dean didn't believe Sam would be evil. Sam is trying to tell Dean that he sees himself in Jack.  He is providing Dean with his reasons as to why he both needs and wants to save Jack, but Dean's so full of his own rage that he's once again not hearing what  Sam is saying and is blind to what Sam is feeling.  I admit that this frustrates me to no end.  It also breaks my heart.💔  What Dean said to Sam, that he didn't really care about Jack, that all he wanted was to use him as a tool.  Is this truly how Dean sees his brother?  All of these years, all of the empathy that Sam has shown others, all of the forgiveness that he's given, all the lives he's saved, all those he's put in front of his own life, and Dean reduces Sam to be so self centered?  Sam, who always puts everyone else in front of him. Even when Sam's dying, he goes out of his way to help others.  Dean has the audacity to tell Sam he doesn't care about Jack. I'm sorry and I know this isn't going to bode well with most of you, but grief or no grief, that remark was both cruel and the furthest thing from the truth as I've ever heard Dean say.  The whole Dean is angry and grieving is not an acceptable excuse for me on this.  Dean isn't the only one hurting and grieving. Sam lost the same people Dean did.  Jack lost his mother and who he considers a father.  Jack is also suffering.  It's just that Dean is the only one taking that grief and hurting those around him and it's starting to not be okay anymore.  Not since S8, when Dean told Sam that Benny was more of a brother than he'd ever been,  have I never felt such frustration and I hate to say it, but yes,  anger😠 towards Dean as I did while watching that end scene.  😩 To top it all off, Sam just got through explaining to Dean why he wants to save Jack.  Why he needs to save Jack and Dean wasn't listening to a word Sam was saying. Just  a week before we saw Sam go out of his way to explain to Jack what it was like for Dean which further made me both angry  and sad, so very sad that I actually began to cry .....and all I could think to say was....."why can't Dean understand Sam, the way Sam understands Dean"?😢

This sadness I was feeling in that last scene was bumming me out to no end.  As such, all this frustration had to be put at bay and I  found it imperative that I find the silver lining, which I did.  I liked that Sam confronted Dean about him threatening to kill Jack.  I like the way Sam stood up for Jack and I love Sam all the more for believing that Jack can be good and deserves to be saved.  I also love, even though it seems to have fallen on deaf ears at the moment, that Sam gave Dean his personal reasons as to why he wants to save Jack.  I was so thrilled that he brought up his own past and pointed out that Dean believed and did all that he could to save Sam. It was an important conversation to have.  Now, though I'm still frustrated and angry with Dean for his seemingly  low opinion of his brother in regards to Jack, I did like the fact that Dean told Sam that he deserved to be saved.  I also rationalised that Sam was about to lay a truth on Dean he was not ready to hear, so he likely said the thing that would most detract Sam from saying it.  Sam brought up that it was Mom's choice to go after Lucifer.  It had nothing to do with Jack at all.  It was about saving her sons.  Cas was about saving someone that he'd accepted to be his charge.  Cas chose to be a father figure and look out for Jack.  Cas was protecting "his son".  This choice was his  See I don't believe Jack brainwashed anyone.  Cas' decision was his and it's the second decision he'd made that angered Dean.  You see I think after Sam brought up Mom making her own choice, I got this gut reaction that he was also going to say that Cas also made his own choice. This is a truth that Dean is not ready to face, because if he were to accept it then he'd also have to face that his real anger lies with Cas.  As it is with grief, it's hard to be angry with someone who you cared about and is now dead.  This is not unusual for Dean, as we just learnt of all the resentment he harboured for his mom all these years.   Dean won't be able to hold onto his delusion forever though and I believe that when Dean's rage settles and he starts to come to terms as to where he anger truly lies, he will realise what he most likely knew all along, and that is that Sam does actually care about Jack.  Dean will likely at some point make Jack aware of this.  As much as I was frustrated by the end scene,  I do recognise the underlying love between both Sam and Dean.  I treasure that these boys are openly communicating with each other.  I do recognise that they do in fact balance each other out.  I definitely recognise that Dean lashes out at people he cares about.  On some level I think that can include Jack.  Sam, Sam is the one Dean lashes out at the most....and he does so because he knows that he could.  Dean knows that no matter what, Sam will always forgive him, and he's right, because Sam always does.💜

Deeper Meaning/Choices

I  don't think the title  Patience is just about the character.  I think the title is a message. I feel it's show's way of asking us to have a little patience with Dean as he goes through his normal process of how he handles both grief and anger.  I also think show is reminding us again of Sam's patience and understanding of Dean through his explanations to Jack of what is really going on with his brother, as well as Sam's patience with Jack. The boys aren't the only ones who need to be patient.  Jack needs to have patience with the boys as well, and he needs to give himself a chance. 

Choices seemed to be a big theme in this episode.  Kelly reminded Jack that he's not his mother or his father and he can choose who he wants to be.  Sam believes that Jack can choose to be good. Missouri chose to die her own way.  Patience's father chose to cut his mother out of his life because she couldn't save his wife.  Missouri had chosen the hunting life at one time. Dean chooses to believe the worst in Jack. Dean chooses not to listen to his brother or make the effort to understand where Sam is coming from.  Dean also chooses to refuse to accept that Cas made a decision of his own free will.  Patience's father chose the life his daughter should lead.  Jody tried to make Patience understand that she should choose the life that's best for her, that she wants and not to let anyone choose that life for her.   Jody had tried that on Claire and Claire left to go off on her own anyway.

Accolades

The wraith was interesting and I liked the aspect of it having a taste for psychics, that they gave him clarity.  I guess I wasn't really paying attention, because I really did not expect Missouri to get killed. I should've known of course, it would make sense to tie in Patience with Jody at some point.  The character of Patience was ok, but I'm not really invested in her or am I interested, like at all, in the spinoff.  I do wish them luck, but for me, I just can't behind the entire concept.  I'm one who thinks Supernatural broke the mold and it and only it should exist.   I did like the little exchange between Jody and Dean when he was getting all upset that James kept Patience away from Missouri.   The Sam and Jack part of the eps were my favourite.  I really love how these two have taken to each other and I love that Sam is so kind to Jack and so willing to guide and teach him and so badly wants to save him. I don't know what the circumstances will be in the future regarding Jack.  I don't know if he'll choose goodness or if he ends up following a darker path.  What I am sure of, is that if the time ever comes where it's Jack against our boys, the Winchesters will live because Jack will always remember the kindness Sam has shown.

Everyone did an amazing job.  I was sorry to see Missouri get killed, but was impressed on how she went out.  Jared and Alex continue to touch our hearts in their scenes together.  Jared and Jensen  are constantly knocking it out of the park and the two of them together in a scene is pure magic.  Patience was an ok character, but like I said, not really invested in her on any level.  I did like that both she and Sam shared the same ability. I wonder if Dean noticed that as well. It's always a pleasure to see Jody and her relationship with the boys.  I enjoyed the actor who played the wraith.   Did anyone else think that Patience's dad was on our show before?  I could swear he played a demon at some point.

I am looking forward to our next ep, and I wonder if there is possibly a specific reason that show has decided to have the boys save this particular type of individual.  Maybe we don't have to be patient for too much long.

Til next time.  Enjoy the week.
-Anna


For an alternative view point, check out sweetondean's review

18 comments:

  1. It's good that you are here to offer a different view of this episode because even though I totally respect Amy's right to her opinion, I don't agree with her view that Sam is being unfair to Dean by trying to persuade Dean to forget his grief and help Jack. At least that's what I think her review is saying. I'm not sure, however, that Dean really meant what he said. Deflection is a popular way of arguing. Dean probably doesn't really believe that Sam's just using Jack as a portal opener, it was just an angry outburst to deflect Dean's bad treatment of Jack back at Sam. Hopefully, Dean's going to realise soon that he's being irrational. He can be cautious with Jack without being so threatening. I do appreciate the fact that the show is giving us such complex emotions to think about and if Dean takes a while to work through his anger and grief, but then gets a better understanding of himself and his brother in the process...I'm good with that.

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    1. The thing is - and this is all I am going to say as to be honest I'm exhausted and pretty much done - and it's only episode 3... But if the shoe was on the other foot, if Dean was making decisions around their job for Sam, if Dean was arbitrarily saying they were not going on a hunt because they were doing this other thing that he knew Sam was not engaged with and didn't at present agree with, Dean would be roundly criticised for making a decisions for Sam again - as has happened in the past. But for some reason, Sam deciding these things on their behalf, and on Dean's behalf is seen as Sam being empathetic and Dean being angry, thoughtless and self obsessed. I am in no way criticising Sam on this by the way - this is a very personal argument for Sam and I adore how he's approaching Jack and everything that is happening between the two, but this feels like a big double standard to me.

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    2. Ooops - sorry it refreshed and published! I was also going to say, I do appreciate that you and Anna seem to have faith in Dean though, because a whole lot of the fandom seems to have forgotten how to have any kind of empathy at all - and seem to not realise, the episodic time frame is only a few days, not a few weeks.

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    3. Sorry cannot agree with you and I have tried with Dean , seeing him at the end screaming at Sam saying things again .

      Tired of it .

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  2. I do appreciate both insights into Dean that you and Anna have, but I agree with Anna more, though. It doesn't upset me if Dean is temporarily moody, I know he'll come through in the end for his family like he always does. You keep seeing the best in Dean and I'll keep trying to see that too, in the coming episodes.

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  3. See I am missing the whole point and didn't understand even when Jared was explaining in interviews about how he can relate to Jack. Even the whole demon blood storyline still doesn't make me see how Sam sees himself in Jack. Jack is a nephillum. Sam was not born of a human and angel. To me relating because of the demon blood just has thrown me. I found what Sam had to say to Dean interesting because yes Dean did say that IF Jack goes dark side he will kill him. Kind of what ole dad told Dean to do if Sam went dark side. But again that was all on Sam if he wanted to go dark side. But Dean would have saved Sam no matter why; and do we all know why because they are brothers and we saw how far Dean has gone to save the ones he loved. He went to hell. So again Sam saying Dean saved him well yes he did and if Sam and the fandom give Dean a chance I think Dean may surprise you and will come around to Jack you just have to give him time but hey we don't want to do that we don't want to watch him grieve over loosing someone he has known that saved him from hell that he had ups and downs with and went to purgatory with; instead because he is not playing nice with jack we would rather say he is being mean to Sam and being mean to Jack. To me I cannot wait to see how Jack and Dean do finally come together. I am looking forward to that in episodes to come. I don't hold any ill will against Dean on how he is treating Jack because he says that threat to anyone he doesn't trust. Same threat different person. But going to be fun and sorry fans cannot wait to see that instead just getting frustrated with Dean. I enjoyed the discussion between sam and dean and glad Jack knows why Dean is hurting and woke up the one person who will make Dean smile again until we ever get mom out of AU world. So I look on the positive and just stay confused on sam and jack relating because like I said to me the only person who can relate to jack and we would have to have a call back to season five would be Jessie. other then that sam not getting that is why the discussion between sam and dean felt real and raw and dean got his point across and jack heard dean was missing cas and wham bam thank you jack woke up who he thinks his baby daddy is :) Sorry if babbling towards end makes hopefully some kind of sense lol.

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  4. Thank you all for commenting and reading. I was scared to submit this one. I even had an editorial angel on my shoulder ensure that my feelings were written in such a way as to not make me appear to be bashing anyone. I fear when I write, I sometimes bring up too much detail of past events, which I don't look at as evidence of blame, but more supporting evidence to corroborate my ideas...tying them together so what I say makes sense. I don't want to ever say something that may be deemed as negative by others and simply leave it at that. I try to support my reasoning. I'm not nor have I ever been a hater of either character...not once, not ever....

    but I have been angry, frustrated and saddened by them both. Isn't that part of love? If I didn't love or care about them, I would never feel these feelings. There...now that I've said that.

    I very much respect Amy's opinions and outlook, and for the most part I'm usually in agreement. Sometimes though we don't necessarily agree on something, but it doesn't lessen the value of that opinion.

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  5. Again, I do understand Dean's anger. I'm also aware of his history on how he deals with it...I am. I really am....but once upon a time, way back in s2, when Dean had taken his anger and pain and grief out on Sam, Dean stopped the car, sat on the hood and told Sam he was sorry. He was sorry for how he was acting, and he knew that Sam lost his dad too. That was the first and only time we've ever gotten to see Dean acknowledge openly, verbally, that he recognized Sam was suffering right along with him. In all honesty, I don't think I can recall that ever happening again. I'm pretty sure that didn't happen when they lost Bobby. Somewhere along the way, show decided to handle Dean's grief, I mean on the big stuff, in a more self consuming way. Dean has become blinded to others still, but he no longer is given that chance to acknowledge it. That frustrates me on behalf of Dean because it's not his fault what the writers write. It doesn't stop others from seeing Dean as a self absorbed jerk, thus the hate I see all around, which I'm assuming has to hard on most of you here.

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  6. Mallena, I so hope you are right and my frustration and tears were wasted ones. In this case I want so badly to have been upset for nothing. That comment stung me more than I can even understand why. Of all the people in Dean's life, all they've been through, all the times they've argued on how to deal with handling a monster or a bad person who acts like a monster, all the love and support and the belief from Sam, that Dean would never hear him say that he ever believed he was anything but good...all of this came flooding through my brain....and when Dean said that Sam was only pretending to care about someone...I just lost it emotionally. I'm rewatching now, back to s1....but in all honesty, sans when Sam was soulless, I honestly couldn't recall a single episode in which Sam pretended to care for anyone or anything. You know, like put on an act so they can get close or get info...I couldn't find one..if i'm wrong, please let me know what ep it happened in. I just couldn't get past the fact that Dean could possibly truly think that of Sam and it was the only aspect of this ep that I felt the need to vent on....Deflection...Mallena that makes me feel better and I hope it's true. I so badly need Dean to say to jack at some point that what he said was true. I just need to hear this from Dean. I feel like Sam does too, but that could be me deflecting.

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    1. Can I ask you a question if Sam cares about Jack so much why is he asking him to try to use his powers? Wouldn't that be the last thing you would want to trigger in him? I mean to me and to Dean guessing fishy when you are asking someone to move a pencil? If Sam cares for Jack and deep down I am sure he does why not talk to him get to know him show him around the bunker hell show him Netflix don't sit there and ask him to move a pencil. That is where dean is getting idea that Sam is using him for something. I think that is the last thing Dean will want to Jack to do is use his powers. I get the feeling if like Sam we may put powers on hold maybe until cas has returned. I know they both asked at hotel about teleporting. And I think at some point you will get your apology from Dean to SAm and to Jack. Because that is who Dean is pretty much everyone has forgotten Dean doesn't let people in the fold quickly but Jack will be let in when Dean is ready.

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    2. Lots of things are said in anger to people we love that aren't really true, so let's just hope Sam wasn't offended by that because HE knows it's untrue and he knows that Dean will realize that eventually.

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    3. I think there are two reasons that Sam wants to teach jack how to use his powers. Dean's grief may be about anger, but Sam is dealing with his grief differently. He's trying to save his Mom. He won't believe that she is gone. He is holding onto the possibility of her being alive and he will do everything he can to save her. He will not allow himself to believe in the alternative. One of the first things Sam asked was if Jack can open the rift and he said he could. Sam wants Jack to help him save his mother. So Sam does need him.

      But and this is a big but...not that big butt...LOL...

      sam also sees himself in Jack. He doesn't believe Jack has to be bad. He sees the human side of him. He sees the goodness of is mother in Jack. Jack is a victim here. He hasn't done anything, yet he's seen as a threat and wanted by angels, demons, asmodeus and Lucifer....all wanting to either kill him or control him. I believe Sam truly does want to protect Jack. Sam also knows deep down that Jack can be a danger to others, even if he doesn't intend to do so. Jack doesn't know what his powers are or how to control them. We've seen what happens when Jack's in danger or in pain...His body instinctively reacts. Jack hasn't killed anyone, but he certainly has flung a few people across a room. Sam teaching Jack how to control those powers not only protects others, but it protects Jack too. He can keep himself safe without hurting innocents around him. Sam has been showing Jack how much he cares. Sam gave him the computer to see his mom. He's been kind to him and understanding with him and honest with him. he constantly keeps telling Jack that he doesn't have to be evil..that there is goodness in him. I have to say that Sam's pretty much the only one that actually does care about Jack.

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  7. Sue, I think it's the whole fated to be evil thing and having others think they can control you. When Sam found out he had demon blood in him and that dean might have to kill him, he had begun to fear that he would go dark side. Then Sam learns that he'd been manipulated even back high school, continuing in college by his friend Brady, who was really a demon, and learned that Jessica was killed simply to get him back into hunting again. All these events in Sam's life were being controlled by both demons and angels alike. Even Cas had a hand in it, when he'd follow orders blindly, letting Sam out when he was detoxing, and only changing his mind at the last second when he realized what the true goal was. Sam was constantly told by angels, demons, and Lucifer himself that he would be a vessel. I think Sam sees himself in Jack, because angels and demons alike are trying to take control of him. what jack will be is being decided by others. That's why I think Sam feels he and Jack are alike and why it's so important to him to help Jack believe in himself enough to choose the right path. I don't see Sam wanting to control him as others, he wants Jack to be able to control his own powers and he wants to help with that. I also believe that Sam feels if Jack can believe in his own goodness, and not let who his father is make him believe otherwise, than jack can be saved.

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    1. So Sam should let Jack choose that path and when jack wishes to use his powers we all know now they are controlled by emotion. He shouldn't be showing him how to use him if anything he should treat him normally. If he wants the opposite then take the opposite of what happened to you. Yea but even in that path with angels and demons in Sam's life it was up to him to make the choices he only later learned and that was in S4 and 5 that he thought himself a freak and thought dean looked at him like that but until the end of S5 Dean was doing anything he could to make sure Sam was making his choices even jumping in the cage. And that should be same with Jack let him choose his path. And Sam choose to use his powers with Ruby. right now letting jack use his powers is one thing maybe he shouldn't be doing maybe alert the bad guys to his location. Jack has to make his choices sam has to allow him that just like Jessie got to choose his. the kid that was more like Jack then anyone on show.

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    2. I think Sam is trying to teach Jack how to control his powers because right now they just happen. Every time Jack is scared, or in pain, or feels threatened his body instinctively reacts...like breathing. That's dangerous as Jack can hurt innocents without intending to. The assumption here is that once Jack learns how to use these powers he'll only use them for evil. I think the whole argument here is that Sam doesn't believe this has to be the case. Jack can choose to be good. He can even use his powers for good. All Sam can do is guide Jack and show him love and kindness and that Jack is deserving of being saved from a destiny that he's being told he is fated for. Sam and Dean have always been about free will. It's up to you to decide who you want to be, and not anyone else. Sam is doing what he can to influence Jack to the side of good. I don't think Sam is blind to the fact that it might not be the path decides to take. I think Sam knows, just as Dean does that the shoe can drop. But while Dean at this point sees it as a definite, Sam only sees that as a possibility....it's also possible Jack can be saved. Given that he's part human and he hasn't hurt anyone, Sam of course believes he deserves the same chance Dean had given him. Besides, they don't know how to kill Jack. For better or worse, it's smarter to treat Jack with kindness than with hostility, at least until they find a way to stop Jack if they ever actually have to.

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  8. I've seen others question what Sam meant by Dean saving him. Sam for the most part, saved himself...but I do believe that Dean was a tremendous part enabling Sam to do that. I was thinking along the lines that maybe Sam simply meant that he never wanted to disappoint Dean. He never wanted to be a failure to him. He has been looking up to him since he was 4 yrs old, watching him, following him around, always wanting to be just like his big brother. So maybe Sam's unwillingness to want to be a failure in Dean's eyes played a part in Sam's defiance of allowing himself to be evil. I do think it was mostly Sam and his inner strength that enabled him to fight such a dark destiny, but I do think his love and admiration for Dean and never wanting to let Dean down, as Dean is the only one who has always been there and who always had Sam's back....is where Sam's courage came from. Sacrifice is a perfect example of this....Sam believed he let his brother down, was a disappointment to him and as such was ok with dying upon completing the trials. He didn't ever want to disappoint Dean again, as he believed he had. Dean had to make Sam understand that no one ever came before him and that he was never a disappointment...he begged him to see that and once again Sam found the strength to want to survive. if Sam's body hadn't' been burned from the inside, it would've been Sam's love for Dean and his need to make him proud that saved him.

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