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