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4x04 Metamorphosis

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  • 4x04 Metamorphosis

    Ooh hey, I rarely get the opportunity to start the new thread!

    Man, the show doesn’t really slow down and jumps head-on into questions, I wanted to see addressed for a long while now, picking up themes and motifs they touched in the earlier seasons. I honestly didn’t expect to see so many answers and truths revealed this early in the season, but it gives me the feeling that the writers know exactly where to go with the characters this year and that really thrills me to no end! In any case, Cathryn Humphris’ script for Metamorphosis gave me everything I wanted from the first confrontation between the brothers after the revelations of last week’s episode.

    Metamorphosis finally explores Sam’s side of the story deeper, allowing us a glimpse into his head and so far it affirms all my speculations about him. I have to admit that I was wondering for a while now why the writers decided to focus on Dean’s perspective ever since the season premiere, when it was Sam who had changed, while Dean came back from hell basically unchanged. Now I tend to think it was because it set up the confrontation in Metamorphosis perfectly. In a way the first 4 episodes of S4 are the counterpart to the first 4 episodes of S2, where we experienced Dean’s erratic behavior and steady downward spiral through Sam’s eyes, while we only had limited insight into Dean’s motivations and had to make assumptions from his actions. Both mini-arcs find a temporary resolution when the respective brother finally comes out with the truth, but I guess it’s fair to say that just like in S2 the reprieve will be short lived and things are far from being over, heading for an even bigger confrontation midseason.

    While I am usually unhappy when Sam and Dean are at odds with each other, this season has me gripped, because their conflict feels very real and the emotions are raw and believable, and in a sense we are heading towards this specific confrontation ever since S1, when Sam’s powers were introduced. It’s a complex and messy tangle of love, pain, hurt and anger between the boys at the moment and I don’t know why, but in S3 they didn’t manage to touch on that in a similar intense fashion although they had just as great material to work with.

    Anyway, Metamorphosis continues right where we left off last episode and leads straight into the confrontation between Sam and Dean, that I awaited eagerly all week. And man, did they deliver! The several arguments between the brothers were pitch perfect and very in character, from Dean starting to throw punches, only to come around in the end and apologize, to Sam being defensive and trying to get Dean to understand, only to be defeated in the end. Like with so many really important arguments between them it’s not about the one being right and the other being wrong, but about perspectives. They both raise valid points and they need to find a compromise that allows both of them to live with it, but I guess that we will have a long way before us until that happens.

    Sam: “It doesn’t matter who you are, it only matters what you do!”

    As predicted Sam has the best intentions at heart. He tries to take something scary and evil and turn it into something good, because that’s just who he is. He fought his supposed destiny for 2 years, but the price for his resistance was enormous. He lost everyone he ever loved and it’s very Sam to stop running and turn around, facing this thing head-on for a change, trying to control it on his own terms. He is right, he is stuck with this ‘curse’ and it’s not going away, just because he doesn’t want it. Denial will get him nowhere in the end, but the question is, where will embracing his powers lead him?

    It's a valid question if Sam is really so wrong, about using his powers. After all, he does save people, with no apparent damage to himself at the moment, his soul and his humanity seem intact. So where’s the harm? Up to now Sam only exorcises demons, but we know from Jake that once started, the psychic kids can unlock every possible power within a very short span of time, and Ruby made clear that Sam would be able to reach his full potential within 30 hours in order to defeat Lilith. So why the sudden limit in Sam’s abilities, provided he isn’t lying to Dean? In my opinion the answer lies in Ruby’s agenda. Her sweet and obedient attitude towards Sam is a means to an end to her, since sarcasm and pushiness failed to get her anywhere with him last season. In S3 Ruby tried to convince Sam that he has to go against his gentle nature, that he has to accept collateral damage, but in the end, that approach to him proved to be useless. So to get Sam to believe in the benevolent use of his powers may be the best way to win him over. Her agenda is still the same, she just changed her tune.

    Ruby knew that Sam didn't feel comfortable with his powers, knew that Sam promised Dean to not go down that road, and she needed to bypass these obstacles. And what better way to convince him, than by tempting him into the first small step under the mantle of benignity, thus lulling him into a false sense of security. The next step would raise less resistance and the next even less and so on. Sam admitted in Lazarus Rising that it felt good to use his powers, even if he didn’t know if it felt right. How long until using his powers feels evil? How long until it corrupted him beyond the point of no return? How long until he becomes the very thing he usually hunts? It is a slippery slope down on the proverbial road to hell, and I am still not convinced that there is a way for Sam to access the full range of his powers and still stay good.

    So why not take his new handy ability to exorcise demons without harming the host and leave it at that? As Sam realizes in the end, it’s playing with fire, there’s no guarantee that he is able to stop. It’s like Jack Montgomery’s overwhelming hunger for human flesh, once he started to satisfy it, there was no turning back, it consumed him. It might well be that no matter what, it’s already too late for Sam. He opened himself up to the evil inside him and that taste of power might have been enough to set a chain reaction in motion that Sam isn’t able to control. 'It’s my choice', Sam emphasizes but Jack’s example showed that no matter how hard you try to make that choice, it’s possible that it is of no avail in the end.

    Sam: "This disease is pumping through my veins, and I can’t ever rip it out or scrub it clean. I’m a whole new level of freak!"

    Ever since All Hell Breaks Loose Pt1 I was wondering if Sam still believes in his own humanity after he learned of the blood ritual and I am happy that the episode at least partially addressed this. In a twisted way Sam tries to accept the inhuman in him by using it for good, thus ensuring his humanity. He feels unclean, his soul is stained and there is no way for him to redeem that, other than to do as much good as he can, with every means he has at his disposal. It’s an echo of his argument back in Playthings, that he can only change his destiny by saving as many people as he can.

    It breaks my heart to know that Sam was dealing with these self-doubts ever since the S2 finale, but had no opportunity to come to terms with them or to even share his burdens, because he was so caught up in his fight for Dean’s life. Breaking the deal took priority over everything, even himself. In S3 we only saw fleeting moments of his struggle, like his distressed expression when Dean declares human/not human is a simple black & white problem to him in Time Is On My Side or his pained plea of ‘Don’t look at me like that’ when Dean stares him down at his suggestion to fight Lilith with his powers in No Rest For The Wicked. He feels so desolate and I doubt that Dean’s reassurance at the end of the episode, that he doesn’t need to deal with this alone, is really comforting to him.

    Sam’s fear that Dean might reject him for what he is, reaches far back to the beginning of the series and while Dean has never been able to see anything but goodness in his brother, his general stance towards non-human creatures didn’t make it easy for Sam to overcome his fears. Sam’s devastated expression at Dean’s admission that if he didn’t know him, he would want to hunt him down, was heart-breaking. His brother’s reaction confirmed every fear Sam ever had, although Sam fails to see that Dean’s fierceness results more from Sam’s lies and deceptions and from the fear for his brother, rather than fear of him.

    In Are You There God? Sam’s glee over Castiel’s appearance and his conviction that it is a positive sign for the both of them, clearly showed the depth of his belief that he is still on the side of good. That belief is shattered though when Dean passes on Castiel’s message, that if Dean doesn’t stop Sam, he will. I don’t think that Dean is completely convinced in the matter of God and angels yet, but nonetheless uses Sam’s own faith against him here to lend his argument more power. Dean leaves Sam no room for excuses and questions his every decision and in combination with the disastrous results of their attempt to save Jack, Sam seems utterly defeated. His statement that he is done with everything was ominous in its vagueness. I hope we'll find out soon what exactly he meant here.

    Dean: "If I didn't know you, I would want to hunt you."

    Understandably Dean’s first reaction is fuelled by feelings of betrayal and disappointment. Sam not only lied to him, repeatedly, he also broke the promise he gave to Dean in No Rest For The Wicked. Dean died and went to hell so his brother doesn’t have to go down that route and in the end it had been for nothing. In their first argument in the motel Dean isn’t able to see beyond that betrayal, his frustration and hurt discharging in a surge of violence, and he lashes out against his brother, verbally as well as physically. In his anger he even considers walking out on Sam, which is a sure sign that he is at the end of his rope in that moment.

    Dean’s muttered 'You don’t need me', clearly shows where the other part of his reaction stems from. His whole life he defined himself over being Sam’s protector and mentor but now Sam rejects that role, has even replaced him with Ruby and he feels useless, like he has no place in Sam’s life anymore. Sam changed and he had no opportunity to change with him, to adapt, define a new role. He has no idea how he fits with his brother anymore and that discovery is immensely unsettling for him. Just three episodes ago, he was convinced that there is nothing that he doesn’t know about Sam and the reality hits him hard here.

    Still, Dean’s admission that he would hunt Sam down, if he didn’t know him, even if only spoken in anger, was shocking, because it opens disturbing parallels to Gordon. Gordon who argued for taking out Sam on the simple ground of his potential danger, no matter if he had actually done anything evil yet or not. An argument that was echoed by the hunter Travis as well, even if in Jack Montgomery’s case he had a pretty solid reason.

    Dean on the other hand always needed to be sure that a line was crossed before he considered taking action. The extent of Sam’s deception though, not only towards Dean but also towards himself, repressing his own doubts to be able to press on with his powers, throws Dean. It’s clear that the discovery that Sam lied to him over and over again, for a very long time, resulted in massive trust issues from Dean’s side, especially since he lately always opts for full disclosure with his brother. How can he ever trust Sam again? The very bases of their relationship seem to be in question.

    Anyway, as so often with Dean, his anger burns high and intense, but as soon as the initial shock is over and Sam’s own anger pours out of him, desperate to make his brother understand, Dean’s attitude softens instantly. In their argument at the roadside, Dean finally really listens to his brother, looks beyond his own hurt and realizes the extent of Sam’s distress and tries to take the first step towards him. Sam’s defeated demeanor after they failed to save Jack prompts Dean’s apology and his switch into big brother mode, reassuring Sam that he doesn’t need to deal with this own his own, but there's no real comfort available at the moment.

    Travis: "They start out human for all intents and purposes. (…) They feed once, they are monsters forever."

    The MotW plot this week was obviously only a vehicle to illustrate Sam and Dean’s dilemma. It was crafted to exactly fit around the story of the brothers and had no other function than highlighting it. While the parallels between Jack and Sam were drawn very unsubtle, even without Dean pointing it out to us, thank you very much, it at least raised an interesting point and I have to wonder if this is meant as foreshadowing: Jack did control his urge to feed, even if only barely, until Travis provoked him into a frenzy. He lost control when he tried to protect his wife and child and from there on a return was impossible.

    I can easily imagine Sam losing control should Dean’s life be threatened again and as mentioned before, I doubt that now that he started to use his powers, it will be easy to abandon them, especially in a situation where they allow him to save his brother (or anybody else in peril). Could he watch someone die, rather than act? If the events at the end of No Rest For The Wicked were to take place now, I don’t think Sam would be able to not use his powers. I think that his statement that he wants to stop is genuine. I can’t see him jumping into yet another lie, just to soothe his brother’s worries, not after the immense fallout they just had. Still, it's possible that in the end he can't avoid it and I am anxious to see how it all plays out.

    Anyways, would it have been truly possible for Jack to control the monster inside him indefinitely? The episode draws the obvious parallel to Bloodlust here. Lenore and her group were able to control their base instincts, but they had the possibility to substitute human blood with animal blood. Jack eating raw meat didn’t seem to calm his urges in the least though. Would it have been possible for him to sustain himself like that or was Sam’s attempt to save him doomed to fail from the start? Sam tried to save a 'monster' with an uncommon theory before, namely Madison in Heart, to whom he also related because she was an innocent victim, someone with something evil inside, that she couldn’t control. He failed to save her as well and just like Jack had to kill her.

    It seems that no matter how hard Sam tries, in the end, he is condemned to fail, death and destruction following him around. Back in Provenance he was already convinced to be cursed and since then it was only a steady downward spiral for him. Metamorphosis left me aching for both boys, but the tragedy of Sam’s fate was what stayed with me the longest after the episode.

    What else was noteworthy?:

    I loved the short reprieve from the intense drama when the brothers had a moment of bonding over Dean’s report of his time travel adventure. The reverence in their voices and soft expressions when they talk about Mary, always tugs at my heart strings. It’s like they revert into 4 yr olds whenever their mother is mentioned. Apparently seeing Mary make the deal for John’s life didn’t affect Dean’s feelings for her in the least and I am happy about that.

    Sam getting locked up in a closet while Dean’s life is in danger is very reminiscent of Nightmare and I wonder if it was deliberately set as a contrast to that episode, where Sam freed himself by using his powers, while here he used more 'conventional' means. Although why he didn’t simply kick the flimsy door down and instead tried to lockpick it, remains a mystery to me. I loved Sam’s enraged reaction to Jack threatening Dean and the way he leans his head against the door and closes his eyes in relief, when Jack rassures him that Dean is alive, was heart-warming. Small gestures like these gain even more importance for me in an episode that is so filled with tension between the boys.

    I loved that we got to meet Travis, another hunter, who was not of the completely unhinged sociopath variety. Although he was mainly used for exposition purposes and accordingly doomed to die, I liked his character, especially since he supplied us with the information that Sam was a mathlete in highschool and provided plenty of opportunity for Dean to make digs at his brother.

    In conclusion: Metamorphosis was an intense emotional ride and tops off a fantastic run of early mytharc episodes. If the show stays true to its usual pattern, the next episode will be more light-hearted, they always like to follow up drama with comedy. S4 so far is awesome!
    Last edited by galathea; 11-10-08, 10:27 AM.

  • #2
    Full review coming later!

    Originally posted by galathea View Post
    It's a valid question if Sam is really so wrong, about using his powers. After all, he does save people, with no apparent damage to himself at the moment, his soul and his humanity seem intact. So where's the harm? Up to now Sam only exorcises demons, but we know from Jake that once started, the psychic kids can unlock every possible power within a very short span of time, and Ruby made clear that Sam would be able to reach his full potential within 30 hours in order to defeat Lilith. So why the sudden limit in Sam's abilities, provided he isn't lying to Dean? In my opinion the answer lies in Ruby's agenda. Her sweet and obedient attitude towards Sam is a means to an end to her, since sarcasm and pushiness failed to get her anywhere with him last season. In S3 Ruby tried to convince Sam that he has to go against his gentle nature, that he has to accept collateral damage, but in the end, that approach to him proved to be useless. So to get Sam to believe in the benevolent use of his powers may be the best way to win him over. Her agenda is still the same, she just changed her tune.
    I have to agree with you entirely about Ruby. It's becoming more and more clear with every scene that we get with her that she seems to be placing on the act of a nice little follower. I think that Dean's expression "Well aren't you just a good little bitch" were right on the ball. Although speaking of Ruby I thought the confrontation between her and Dean was great.... only he could bring out the bitch within

    Originally posted by galathea View Post
    II can easily imagine Sam losing control should Dean's life be threatened again and as mentioned before, I doubt that now that he started to use his powers, it will be easy to abandon them, especially in a situation where they allow him to save his brother (or anybody else in peril). Could he watch someone die, rather than act? If the events at the end of No Rest For The Wicked were to take place now, I don't think Sam would be able to not use his powers. I think that his statement that he wants to stop is genuine. I can't see him jumping into yet another lie, just to soothe his brother's worries, not after the immense fallout they just had. Still, it's possible that in the end he can't avoid it and I am anxious to see how it all plays out.
    Hmm while speaking of No Rest For The Wicked. I am very curious about when Sam's power started working for him consciously. Was it that confrontation with Lilith which forced him to use them unconsciously that awoke the dormant powers, or did Sam do something later with the help of Ruby to gain the control over them that he has now? I hope we get to find this future. Still I'll be very interested to see how long Sam can stick to his resolve that his powers are not to be used no longer?

    Originally posted by galathea View Post
    ISam getting locked up in a closet while Dean's life is in danger is very reminiscent of Nightmare and I wonder if it was deliberately set as a contrast to that episode, where Sam freed himself by using his powers, while here he used more 'conventional' means. Although why he didn't simply kick the flimsy door down and instead tried to lockpick it, remains a mystery to me. I loved Sam's enraged reaction to Jack threatening Dean and the way he leans his head against the door and closes his eyes in relief, when Jack rassures him that Dean is alive, was heart-warming. Small gestures like these gain even more importance for me in an episode that is so filled with tension between the boys.
    Perhaps I'm wrong but I always interpeted Sam's actions in that scene as simply being down to a need of subtley. I think Sam knew that, if he wasn't subtle about his breakout that Jack would have killed Dean without hesistation. Especially after hearing the realisation that he was convined that they had worked with Travis to attempt to murder him and both his wife. Oh and I liked the parraell between Metamorphsis and nightmares also
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    • #3
      Not an expert on the show, but I'm not sure what Dean's problem is: he says Sam is becoming less human...but he trusts Castiel, who is no human at all and claims to take orders from another character - the one he calls "God" and seems to identify with the Biblical god Yahweh (since he recommended that Dean read the Bible to learn more about angels as Yahweh's warriors.

      Dean seems pissed with Sam because, according to Castiel (who could be lying), apparently Yahweh is displeased with Sam's using his powers... but Dean likes non-human entities using their powers, including Castiel?

      Dean has always been saying that if God does not exists, it's fine, but if he does, well Dean didn't seem to be a big fan of God's. What changed his mind?

      Granted, we don't know which god Dean was talking about, but I'm not sure why he'd like this particular one.

      In this episode, Dean said if he didn't know Sam, he'd want to hunt him...for having powers and using them? Yet, he does not seem to feel like hunting Castiel, or Yahweh if the latter is, in fact, behind Castiel's actions.

      Sam, on the other hand, is sending people to Hell, where they will be tortured for who knows how long, while he could use the knife and kill them instead. The knife would kill their victims too, but if he does not kill them, they might escape from Hell and possess - and thus torture - others. On the other hand, if they fail to escape, they get tortured indefinitely...maybe forever.

      Those demons may be torturers and killers - after being themselves tortured in Hell for centuries -, but still, infinite torture is as bad as it gets...but then, Dean is not blaming Sam for that. Dean's only objection is that Sam's using powers not available to other humans...but again, so does Castiel, and the psychics they consult, etc.

      Also, Sam seems to be having sex with Ruby. But Dean didn't seem to complain about that, either, so I don't think I get why he complains so much...other than the fact that he's pissed because Sam lied to him, but still, I don't think he's thought this whole thing through - not that Sam did.

      As for Ruby, wasn't she afraid of angels?
      Why is she back with Sam? What's her plan?

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      • #4
        Another week, another fantastic Supernatural episode! This season really overwhelms me with its sheer brilliance. While last week's episode gripped us with its focus on the mytharc, this week's episode delivered complete brotherly interaction goodness. It is hard to pick a favourite scene because there were so many that left a deep impression on me. Maybe it's the very first confrontation between the boys. Or maybe it's the scene in the motel room a little bit later on with both brothers having tears in their eyes and trying to come to terms with this new reality in their relationship. Or it might be the scene where Sam told Dean to stop the car and then being free to pace and no longer trapped in the car bared his soul to his brother, no-holds-barred. The fear, despair and pain Sam showed in that scene will stay with me for a long time, I'm sure. Or maybe it was the very last scene with the boys in the car. I don't think we have seen the boys being this open and honest with each other for a long time. They both told each other the (sometimes brutal) truth in this episode and even though I'm not convinced that the secrets and lies between them are over now (I think Sam is fooling himself with respect to giving up his powers), it felt so good to have all these pent up emotions out in the open. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki both gave excellent performances in this week's episode and I found myself rooting for both of their characters depending on the scene. Sometimes I would totally agree with Dean, other times I could completely Sam's point of view. Kudos to Cathryn Humphris for making that happen!

        I did not care that much for the MOTW per se (way too much disgusting gore for my taste) but I did like how it all tied in with the boys' storyline and their state of mind, even if the parallels were not exactly subtle. I also liked the title of the episode because it immediately made me think of Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis", a book I used to love when I was younger and whose plot (the protagonist wakes one morning to find himself transformed into a monstrous vermin) of course tied in perfectly with the plot of the MOTW.

        I love that we got a smooth transition from "In The Beginning" to "Metamorphosis". No stalling, no excuses, no dragging things out, just plunging into the story head-on:

        I wonder what exactly Sam and Ruby's mission was with that demon at the beginning of the episode. Yes they want to find Lilith (is that all still about payback for Sam or is there a larger reason behind their search for Lilith?) but did they have any indications that this particular demon could help them find Lilith? From the look of determination on Sam's face in the previous episode, I would suspect that Sam and Ruby had some info on this particular demon, now I'm just wondering what that was.

        I still can't get over the fact how cool and badass Sam looks when he is using his powers. I was relieved though that we now got to see an exorcism performed by Sam where the human victim actually lives. And according to Sam, most victims survive when he uses his powers on the demons that possess the humans.

        I'm wondering about a thing that the demon said to Sam about him and Ruby:

        Demon: "Yet here you are, slutting around with some demon. Real hero. [?] Tell me about the months without your brother. About all the things you and this demon bitch do in the dark."

        Did the demon mean Sam using his powers and Ruby teaching him or did he imply that there is something sexual going on between Sam and Ruby? His choice of words certainly points in that direction. However, I really hope that's not the case because that's just way too disturbing to even consider. The writers are really mean in this respect this season, they love to torture us with this.

        Ruby was a bit more tolerable this week. At least when she was arguing and fighting with Dean (yay for that btw!), she seemed to be more herself. I guess Dean brings out the bitchy demon in her, it was nice to get a glimpse of the old Ruby.

        The subsequent scene in the hotel room was definitely one of my favourites. I have to say though that I was not really fond of Dean punching Sam (twice). I can understand Dean's frustration and anger with Sam and that it led him to punch Sam but I don't condone it. It is my firm belief that you should argue with words and not with your fists. Still, it was in character for Dean so even though I don't like or agree with the punching, I'm willing to let it slide. Anyway I found their verbal fight much more interesting:

        Dean: "It's already gone too far, Sam. If I didn't know you, I would wanna hurt you. And so will other hunters."

        Sam: "And what I'm doing, it works."
        Dean: "So tell me, if it's so terrific, then why did you lie about it to me? Why did an angel tell me to stop you? Castiel said that if I don't stop you, he will. So what that means, Sam, that means that God doesn't want you doing this."


        The look of shock and hurt on Sam's face when Dean said this broke my heart. At first I was a bit bothered by Dean telling Sam that God does not approve of what he has been doing because I would like for Dean to remain a sceptic when it comes to God. However, there is more and more proof that there is indeed a God in the SN verse and I guess Dean cannot ignore that. I also reckon that Dean invoked God in that instance because he knows Sam does believe in God and that thus it would drive his message home. And judging from the shocked look on Sam's face, Dean's words served their purpose.

        I thought that it was great that Dean told Sam all about their parents and their grandparents. And in that conversation Sam lets it slip that he knew about the YED putting demon blood in him. Of course Dean has to digest that discovery of another one of Sam's lie. Wow they really covered a lot of ground in this episode.

        It's obvious how Sam relates to and sympathises with Jack and his fate. Sam's belief that Jack can fight the monster inside himself is heartbreaking because that's exactly what Sam hopes to do as well.

        This led to possibly my favourite scene of the entire episode and one of my favourite moments of season 4 so far, with Sam telling Dean to stop the car, jumping out of the car and completely coming clean to his brother about his feelings:

        Sam: "You have no idea what I'm going through, none."
        Dean: "Then enlighten me."
        Sam: "I've got demon blood in me, Dean. This disease pumping through my veins and I can't ever rip it out or scrub it clean. I'm a whole new level of freak. And I'm just trying to take this curse and make something good out of it. Because I have to."


        Oh Sammy, you break my heart!!!

        And judging from the look on Dean's face, he was similarly affected.

        It was also telling what Sam later on told Jack while begging him not to kill Dean:

        Sam: "It doesn't matter what you are, it only matters what you do. It's your choice."

        The issue of choice comes up later again in the last scene of the episode, with Sam staring at himself in the window (which I loved) and declaring to Dean:

        Sam: "Anyway it doesn't matter. These powers, it's playing with fire. I'm done with them. I'm done with everything."

        When Dean apologises to him and thanks him for giving up his powers, Sam tells him that he shouldn't thank him, that he doesn't do it for Dean or anyone else for that matter, it's his choice. In my opinion Sam was lying when he said he was done using his powers. Not necessarily to Dean (although that's of course also a possibility) but to himself. I don't think it will be that easy for Sam to just quit using his powers from one day to the next. He has gotten used to his powers, to how they made him feel and giving up that feeling (of doing something good despite having something evil inside himself) will be hard for Sam. Also, I don't think that Ruby will just give up and let Sam do what he wants. This episode really explored Sam's fears and despair when it comes to the fact that he has demon blood in him. I think "Metamorphosis" showed both to Dean and the audience how much Sam is affected by that. Dean certainly did not know how Sam felt about all of this (how could he when Sam does not share his feelings?) and seeing his brother in such turmoil was certainly why he apologised to Sam for being so hard on him.

        While last week's episode made me squee due to all the mytharcy goodness, this week's episode may have an even deeper impact on me on an emotional level because I consider the brotherly interactions to be the heart and soul of Supernatural and we got so many touching brotherly scenes this week, which were also very important for both Sam's and Dean's character development. So once again Supernatural blew me away this week since "Metamorphosis" has so many moments that I will always treasure greatly.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
          Not an expert on the show, but I'm not sure what Dean's problem is: he says Sam is becoming less human...but he trusts Castiel, who is no human at all and claims to take orders from another character - the one he calls "God" and seems to identify with the Biblical god Yahweh (since he recommended that Dean read the Bible to learn more about angels as Yahweh's warriors.

          Dean's only objection is that Sam's using powers not available to other humans...but again, so does Castiel, and the psychics they consult, etc.
          Watch Dean's scenes with Castiel in the last few episodes. There is no trust there. He is deeply intimidated by the angel. And he can't be described as taking orders of any kind from God (who is very much not a character in this show!) He brings up Castiel and God in his confrontation with Sam to lend weight to his argument: that Sam's use of his powers is dangerous. Castiel's threat terrified him - someone else has their finger on the trigger, aimed at his brother, and if he can't persuade Sam to stop using his powers, Sam's life is at stake, and Dean has no way to prevent him being struck down.

          The reason Sam's powers are so dangerous lie in their source rather than how he chooses to use them, for reasons I shall address below.

          Metamorphosis


          Wahey! Finally we get to see inside Sam's head – a whole episode told from Sam's point of view, even! That doesn't happen much any more, considering he started out as the POV character for the entire show.

          We've seen very little of Sam so far this season, and what we have seen of him has been hard to decipher at times, so it comes as a tremendous relief to be allowed this insight, at last, and to know that our gut instinct is correct – Sam is still Sam, whatever the rights and wrongs of his choices and actions, and that worryingly cold fa?ade we've been seeing lately was a mask, behind which all his inner turmoil could be concealed.

          Hopefully, now we've reached this point of insight, Sam's state of mind will be further explored, to allow us full understanding of the personal hell he went through while his brother was languishing in the actual hell, and the impact that had on his decision-making process.

          The confrontations between the brothers in this episode are perfect, each of their stances completely and utterly in keeping with the position each of them finds himself in, and each of them making entirely valid points about the other's attitude or actions. It isn't about either one being wholly in the right or wholly in the wrong; it is about the unique perspective on their situation that each of them has. About the fact that Dean, to all intents and purposes, fell asleep in May and woke up in September, unchanged, while Sam had to live through those four months, alone with his grief and his guilt and his despair, and it changed him. They have to relearn how they fit together, and it is going to be a very rocky road – both messy and painful.

          Sam


          We'll take Sam first, for the sheer novelty of having insight into his mindset for the first time this season. For as long as Dean didn't know what he was doing, for as long as he was able to maintain absolute separation between the two lives he was leading, Sam could bury his head in denial and think only of the positives – his carefully constructed rationalisations and justifications – while ignoring his reservations completely.

          We already know that he has been conflicted about what he's doing – he admitted as much in Lazarus Rising. It probably felt a hell of a lot clearer when Dean was dead, all his guilt and inner conflict channelled into reckless determination – after all, he had nothing left to lose, so what the hell did any of it matter? It felt good to take his 'curse' and achieve something good with it, so that was all he allowed himself to think about, repressing all his doubts about what his power might be connected to and what making use of it might do to him.

          Sam is a good person. He has been terrified since season one of what his powers meant, horrified at the thought of something evil inside him. He resisted his dark destiny so resolutely for such a long time, only to lose everything and everyone he ever cared about in the process. So, in his grief and desperation, he changed tack – maybe off his own volition, maybe in response to Ruby's coaxing – and he tried to make use of his curse and bend it to good. "I've saved more people in the last five months than we've saved in a year!" he tells Dean, and the thought of those lives he was saving must have been what kept him going during his months alone, the knowledge that he could at least achieve something positive in his damnation, the hope that maybe he could tip the scales in his own favour if only he saved enough lives. "I'm a whole new level of freak. And I'm just trying to take this curse…and make something good out of it."

          Since Dean has been back Sam has been torn, but clung to the path he had chosen to go down rather than face up to any kind of self-examination, hiding the truth from Dean to stave off the inevitable confrontation. So, having Dean walk in on him? It's a double-whammy, and he is immediately thrust onto the back foot, having to defend himself against his brother's fury while simultaneously having to deal with his own doubts as they come crashing down, all his illusions shattered. He is forced onto the defensive right from the start, never a comfortable or easy position from which to debate. And this means that even if he wanted to, he has no opportunity to share any of his thought processes or inner doubts with Dean, because he is too busy defending himself against his brother's attack, forced to defend his actions despite his own uncertainties.

          Sam must have been quietly freaking out about the demon blood for a very long time now, over a year – repressing his terrible fears because Dean's situation took priority. As Sam points out, it is something that Dean can never truly understand or share with his brother because he has never been in that position. More than ever, this creates an automatic divide between them.

          Dean


          When you look at the situation from Dean's point of view, it is equally shattering. When we first see him at the start of the episode, he is still reeling – he's had a hell of a night. He woke from nightmares of hell to be accosted by an angel and catapulted into the past, and after that it was just one sucker punch after another. He was confronted by his parents in their youth, learned the truth about his family history, saw both maternal grandparents murdered, learned what the Yellow-Eyed Demon did to his brother, and watched his mother seal the deal that both ensured his existence and damned the entire family. Then it was back to the angel, dropping the whole 'save him or kill him' burden onto his shoulders yet again from a very great height, but this time with the added fun twist of: if you don't stop him, we will. And we all saw what the weight of that did to him in season two, trying to save his brother from something so massive and unknown and terrifying.

          It won't be any less of a devastating burden this time, especially if he and Sam are at odds rather than working together, and especially since someone else has their finger on the trigger this time, which can't help but add an extra helping of urgency and desperation. Sam said it himself last season: this is how Dean acts when he is terrified – he gets loud and he gets violent and he gets obnoxious. He has got every reason to be terrified right now, with Sam actively developing powers given to him by a demon whose endgame remains unknown and an angel threatening his brother's life if he doesn't stop him, all the while with an actual Apocalypse unfolding all around them. It is massive, and Dean is just one man. He's seemed so strong since he came out of hell, but now? He's starting to unravel, season two-style.

          Seeing Sam using his psychic powers was pretty much a knockout blow. After No Rest For The Wicked, I observed that while the deal Dean made was about saving Sam's life, going through with payment was about saving Sam's soul, and that fact comes strongly into play here. Dean went to hell rather than let Sam forge an alliance with Ruby to unlock his psychic powers, preferred to die than see his brother indenture himself to a demon and start sliding down that dark and slippery slope. So to find out that once he was gone Sam went ahead and did all that anyway must be like the most tremendous kick in the teeth, an enormous betrayal, meaning that all his suffering and torment was for nothing.

          Confrontation

          Man, that first confrontation is just heartbreaking. Both brothers are utterly devastated, deeply hurt and on the verge of tears, and neither of them know how to handle this.

          Dean's reaction is informed by his feelings of betrayal, terror and desperation, his anger burning hot and fast. It hits both Sam and viewers hard to see him packing his bags ready to leave – Dean, the one who never leaves. "You don't need me," he mutters, telling us very clearly just how deeply betrayed he feels by the extent of Sam's deception.

          Would he have actually left, or was he just trying to make his point? I doubt even Dean knows – he is just flailing desperately at that point, in the same way that he lashes out at Sam and at the room in general, because he simply doesn't know what to do with the weight and intensity of the fear and anger and desperation he is feeling.

          Sam makes no attempt to avoid Dean's punches, even though he kind of telegraphs them – maybe because he hopes it will make his brother feel better, or maybe because he feels so guilty and desperate and conflicted he thinks he deserves it. He is just so, so completely and utterly crushed – by the weight of his shattered illusions as much as by the intensity of his brother's anger. And then, man, by the shock of Castiel's warning.

          He was so delighted at the thought of having an angel on their side. He never dreamt it might not approve of him. So to find out that the angel warned his brother against him? It's just shattering, devastating – heartbreaking.

          Dean's anger, as always, runs hot and fast and burns itself out very quickly. We have seen that many times on the show. In the car we see that he is swift to let the furious argument lie and tell Sam everything he just experienced. Full disclosure has been his policy all season so far – which just makes it all the more of a kick in the teeth to discover the depth of Sam's deception.

          Talking about their mother, about their parents' youthful hopes and dreams…it is a really beautiful moment for the brothers to share. Sam sounds so reverent when he asks about Mary – there's not even a hint of envy that Dean has yet another memory of her that is denied to Sam.

          Sam takes it hard, though – the notion of that deal, which damned him. And then he slips up and mentions the demon blood, which Dean hadn't mentioned – either because he didn't like to bring it up so soon after their massive argument and risk another one, or because he hadn't got to it yet. And it becomes just another brick in the wall that is fast growing between them, a wall that neither of them wants, a wall that is hurting them both, but exists nonetheless.

          Dean always tries to make Sam feel better, and can't maintain his anger against his little brother for any length of time. But Sam isn't as receptive as he used to be – they can't go back to how things were. Where Dean is willing and even anxious to talk things through, apologising for his reaction and admitting how much the whole thing scares him, Sam just can't face the conversation. When Sam tries to explain that this isn't something Dean can help with, it is his issue to deal with, Dean firmly tells him he doesn't have to deal with it alone – but where once Sam would have appreciated the support, now he is just frustrated that Dean isn't getting it. They still haven't worked out how they fit together now.

          Because Dean was dead for four months and is now alive again, and is unchanged, but Sam has changed, and the result is this gaping, painful gulf between them. It is the price they have to pay for both of their lives.

          Sam's powers


          So just why are Sam's powers such a big deal, and why does it matter so much that he is using them? He is doing good, after all, exorcising demons, saving lives, and trying to find Lilith, who is such a huge threat. It only works on demons, he tells Dean, and that is an important point. He should be able to do a lot more – Jake's powers developed extremely fast, once he unlocked them. But it is clear that Sam has actively chosen not to explore his full range of powers in any way, but rather found just this one that seemed most benign, one with which he could achieve something good. He had promised Dean not to use his powers, but he could justify just this one to himself, because he was doing good and it was only the one power…

          But, as Dean points out, it is a slippery slope. And the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

          On the one hand, of course, it is possible that Show will pull a double switch on us at some point and reveal these powers as nothing to worry about after all… but given the balance of evidence it seems unlikely. For more than three seasons now Sam's powers have been inextricably linked to their demonic source and to the dark destiny he feared so much. The Yellow-Eyed Demon had big plans for his chosen one, and both Ruby's interest and Castiel's warning imply that those plans have not necessarily gone anywhere just because Azazel is dead. We have seen how easily both Ava and Jake were consumed by their power once they opened themselves up to it.

          No matter how careful Sam believes he is being, he is taking an enormous risk, and it is the potential damage to Sam's soul that is the big cause of concern, and always has been. These powers were given to him by the YED for evil purposes, and Sam has been taking guidance from a demon, whose agenda remains unknown. Ruby cannot be trusted. At the end of the day, how Sam uses his powers might not ultimately matter – it is the fact of his using them at all that lies at the heart of Castiel's warning.

          Or is it his alliance with Ruby that is causing the concern, over and above what his powers might mean for him?

          Ruby


          I really, really want some insight into Ruby's endgame now. She has always been a difficult character to make out, largely because she doesn't have any natural confidante. The only person she really talks to is Sam, and we can't rely on her to be telling him the truth at any given time, so we have no opportunity to gain insight into her motivations and ambitions.

          My gut tells me, however, that she isn't to be trusted in the slightest, and that her change in attitude this season is merely the latest phase of the very clever long game she is playing. Last season she tried to bribe and bully Sam into submission, using Dean's life as bait, pushing and goading, but none of it worked, and Sam held firm and refused to give in to the pressure, refused to unlock his powers.

          So now? Well, since hardening Sam up as a soldier didn't work, she has switched to a far more effective softly, softly approach this season. She is coaxing him along rather than goading, taking his desire to save lives and using it as the key to unlocking his powers. Carrot instead of stick. It might be slow going, but it has always been clear that Ruby is prepared to take her time in order to achieve her final goal, whatever that might be.

          What is also clear is that although Ruby is playing nice with Sam and helping him save lives, she is doing so because she needs to keep Sam on side and maintain his trust, and not because she cares about the lives they are saving in any way. She would not have hesitated to kill Dean if Sam hadn't called her off – she is certainly no Lenore. No, her helpful attitude is definitely a means to an end with Sam, rather than stemming from her own beliefs. She is a dangerous guide for Sam to be following.

          Also? I still do not believe that Sam has been sleeping with Ruby. I believe it even less after seeing him so very Sammy in this episode. After all, his demon-exorcising missions with Ruby have all been carried out at night, from what we've seen, and we've seen demons using sexual language to describe the indenture of human souls before. So, I don't think Sam is sleeping with her – but I do believe that his alliance with her is dangerous and wrong.

          Castiel


          Castiel might not be in this episode, but it is worth considering him, alongside Ruby. He is an angel, a warrior for the side of good. That much seems pretty definitively established. But it is also very clear that he is not benign or benevolent in any way, and can be manipulative in the extreme, his intentions not necessarily to be trusted any more than Ruby's. Here, he effectively wound Dean up like a toy soldier and pointed him at his brother – was that a deliberate strategy, we have to wonder, manipulating both brothers? Or was it another example of his lack of insight into how human emotions and reactions really work?

          Castiel's interest lies in the Big Picture. So where do the Winchester brothers fit into that picture, we have to wonder? For what ultimate purpose was Dean singled out to be dragged out of hell? Why is Sam so important? Is this intervention about saving Sam for Sam's own sake or for Dean's? Is it important to the angelic forces that Sam remains in play, for some reason, rather than being struck down on the spot?

          So many questions, and hopefully the season ahead will provide many answers.

          Travis


          The character of Travis feels more like a plot device than a character, in many ways. Establishing him as an old contact of John's, someone the brothers knew well enough in their youth to greet with a hug, means that he us automatically established as someone they trust and respect, a reliable source, no questions asked. But he is also someone they haven't seen in 10 years, and therefore don't really know, which allows him to follow a dark course they could not anticipate.

          The reason why they haven't seen him in 10 years is not touched on. However, despite those 10 years, Travis knew to contact Sam on a number we know he has had for less than 5 months. Does this imply that he has been in sporadic contact throughout the 10 years? He makes no comment on Dean's death and resurrection, which surely he must have heard something about – and you'd think, as a hunter, he'd be fascinated. And why is he asking the boys for help at all, if he hasn't seen them in so many years? Because the recent culls of hunters have decimated his contact list? Too many unanswered questions.

          The point of the character, of course, is to highlight the stance of the average hunter, accentuating Dean's pointed observation that if he didn't know Sam he would want to hunt him. Hunters work a very harsh job and tread a very fine line, risking their lives over and over. I'm sure many would prefer the pre-emptive stance rather than risk a potential killer walking free – it's one of the reasons Dean has always feared Sam's powers. Just look at Gordon's reaction to them. And Travis is the old-school, grizzled variety of hunter, worn down by too many years in the job, unwilling to take any chances – he'd rather kill and be done with it than waste time he maybe cannot afford looking for alternatives.

          It is a shame, really, that the Show ultimately brought Travis down on the Gordon side of extremism. Maybe necessary to facilitate the plot, but it does call the man's judgement into question a little sharply, whereas it would be interesting to see a more measured, even-handed reaction – and then project that onto Sam's situation.

          Monster of the Week


          The Monster of the Week in this episode is intriguing, but feels rather crammed in there for the sake of having a case for the brothers to work – and is overwhelmingly anvilicious, so that on the one hand we really don't need Dean to point the parallels out to us, but on the other can be glad that at least the characters have noticed all the anvils landing on their heads!

          The main point of the MOTW story, aside from Sam's reaction to it, is of course to ensure that the brothers are tossed into action while in the middle of their dispute, allowing them no opportunity to step back, take a breath, and search for some resolution. This means that inevitably both of their reactions to the case are going to be heavily coloured by the inner turmoil they are going through.

          And Sam, in consequence, slides straight back into season two mode: identifying with the supernatural creature of the week and seeing them as a metaphor for his own situation. Bless him, he gets so excited and gleeful when he thinks he has found a solution to any problem – the hope just lights him up. "We're not going to kill him unless he does something to get killed for," he insists, because if this imminent rugaru can be saved, then maybe so can Sam.

          And it means that the roles have reversed yet again – last season Sam was all about the kill, the ends justifying the means, trying hard to toughen himself up, while Dean played devil's advocate.

          Dean goes along with Sam – tries hard to convince the man to repress his terribly hunger, hoping to prevent him making that final transformation from which there can be no turning back. The brothers might be divided on fundamental issues, but there are still places where they can meet. And Sam in his turn doesn't hesitate to run after the man with a flamethrower when an innocent life is at risk – doesn't hesitate to torch him when he is about to kill Dean.

          "You have this dark pit inside you, I know. Believe me, I know. But that doesn't mean you have to fall into it. You don't have to be a monster. […] It doesn't matter what you are. It only matters what you do." Bless his heart, Sam has been clinging desperately to that belief for such a long time, so desperately hoping that if he can make it true about something – anything – that they hunt, just maybe it can also be true for himself.

          It doesn't matter what you are. It only matters what you do. It is about choices – choosing to be evil, or choosing to be good. Yay, and we're back to free will over predestination.

          Resolution?


          "These powers. It's playing with fire. I'm done with them. I'm done with everything."
          "That's a relief. Thank you."
          "Don't thank me. I'm not doing it for you, or for the angels, or for anybody. This is my choice."

          On the one hand, Sam's decision to stop using his powers seems a little abrupt, but on the other it is entirely understandable. He had admitted his reservations in the past, but couldn't bring himself to give in just then – he just needed the shock of Dean catching him out and the bitter realities of this case to give him the push he needed. He wasn't able to save Jack from himself, and Travis's intervention means that there can be no way of ever knowing if Jack could somehow have restrained himself. For Jack, just one bite was too many, no going back, and seeing that clearly terrified and devastated Sam.

          Dean is going to find it very hard to trust his brother for probably a very long time, having found out the depth of Sam's deception. And we might equally ask whether or not Sam can truly trust himself? His powers are unlocked now. However sincere he is in his decision to stop using them, he might not find it so easy to walk away – can't put the genie back in the bottle once it is out.

          Definitely some rocky times ahead for the brothers.

          Random observations


          The Impala has her old license plate back! When did that happen, and why now, all of a sudden?

          I love Dean's reaction to the word 'rugaru'. Because it does sound made up!

          I love that Sam immediately understands long pig and Dean doesn't.

          "You ever been really hungry? Haven't eaten in days hungry?"
          "Yeah!"
          Dean and his stomach!

          Hey, Jack's wife Michelle wore a white nightie – and survived!

          I love that Dean so easily covers for Sam when he puts his foot in it with Travis.

          Jack eating the uncooked burgers is just gross. This is a pretty squicky episode.

          I love watching Dean make equipment of any kind. Usually while Sam researches – such a tried and tested pattern.

          The pregnant wife is a loose end left hanging – 30 years, there's another rugaru running around, and nobody knows to track it. And I kind of love the messiness of that loose end, because it feels so very real.

          I love Sam's relief when he hears Dean is still alive.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
            Not an expert on the show, but I'm not sure what Dean's problem is: he says Sam is becoming less human...but he trusts Castiel, who is no human at all and claims to take orders from another character - the one he calls "God" and seems to identify with the Biblical god Yahweh (since he recommended that Dean read the Bible to learn more about angels as Yahweh's warriors.
            Dean doesn't necessarily trust Castiel. He has been wary of the idea of God and angels and might be coming around slowly, since Castiel so far seems to be the real deal, every factual evidence so far comfirms it and Dean would be stupid to simply dismiss even the possibility. Does that mean that Dean blindly trusts in everything Castie says? No, especially not when Castiel puts himself into an adversary position when it comes to Sam. Dean using the 'God doesn't want you to do this' argument is simply a means to use Sam's own faith against him. Sam is a believer and by using this argument Dean shattered Sam's defensive stance.

            Dean's problem is simple: He is afraid for his brother. He is scared. Every evidence they came across so far points to the fact that once the psychic kids opened themselves to their powers they went evil in the blink of an eye. Ava, Jake, Anseem, all turned into psychopaths as soon as their powers were unlocked. At the moment Sam's activities surely seem harmless, but where do they end and is he really able to draw a line when necessary? Their knowledge about how the powers work and how they affect Sam is minimal, using them might pose a risk that leads to Sam losing his humanity. That's why Dean fights Sam using his powers with everything he has. He doesn't want to lose his brother.

            Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
            Sam, on the other hand, is sending people to Hell, where they will be tortured for who knows how long, while he could use the knife and kill them instead. The knife would kill their victims too, but if he does not kill them, they might escape from Hell and possess - and thus torture - others. On the other hand, if they fail to escape, they get tortured indefinitely...maybe forever.

            Those demons may be torturers and killers - after being themselves tortured in Hell for centuries -, but still, infinite torture is as bad as it gets...but then, Dean is not blaming Sam for that.
            Sam is sending demons back to hell, not persons. Why would Dean blame Sam for that? Sure, there is a chance that the demons claw their way back from hell, but if faced with the choice between killing the victim along with the demon (knife) or saving the victim and sending the demon back to hell for an indefinite amount of time (exorcism), saving the victim should always have priority.

            Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
            Also, Sam seems to be having sex with Ruby. But Dean didn't seem to complain about that, either, so I don't think I get why he complains so much...other than the fact that he's pissed because Sam lied to him, but still, I don't think he's thought this whole thing through - not that Sam did.
            We don't know if Sam actually has sex with Ruby and his general demeanor in this episode, his concern for the people he saves from demons, makes it even more unlikely to me that Sam would even consider having sexual relations with Ruby. There is no reason for Dean to believe at the moment that there is anything sexual between them. I doubt that he recognised her from the motel room in Lazarus Rising and the demons remark about Sam 'slutting around with demons' isn't necessarily related to Ruby and Sam having sexual relations but can simply refer to Sam selling his soul out by working with a demon.

            Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
            As for Ruby, wasn't she afraid of angels?
            Why is she back with Sam? What's her plan?
            Obviously her need for power over Sam overpowers her fear of Castiel at the moment. All we know about Ruby's plan so far is that she is interested in the YEDs plans for Sam (TKAA) and that she sees Sam as a weapon she can use in her own agenda to overthrow Lilith (NRFTW). Last season she repeatedly tried to manipulate Sam to venture into darker territory and was foiled in her plans by Dean again and again. The full extent of her plans will probably only become clear to us later in the season.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just wondering...

              If Sam is really having sex with Ruby... is that rape?
              Cause Meg said that she was awake for most of the 'ride'. So if Sam is having sex with Ruby, wouldn't the original girl feel and experience it, without actually wanting it?
              So would that qualify as rape?? Cause I would think so!
              Of course this girl is being 'raped' by Ruby already.... but still.

              Sam's powers and Ruby
              I'm starting to see why they chose this actress for Ruby. (beside the budget reason).
              This vulnerable, 'sweet' girl... is able to mislead Sam, to use him, to convince him he's doing good.
              The old Ruby was way to self confident and strong for that. This girl is more to the background and more manipulative.

              More and more I'm starting to believe that Ruby knows exactly what Azazel's plan was and is making sure it all plays out.
              Sam feels like a majorette puppet in her hands.... Even though he thinks that he's in controll... he's not.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cori
                Did the demon mean Sam using his powers and Ruby teaching him or did he imply that there is something sexual going on between Sam and Ruby? His choice of words certainly points in that direction. However, I really hope that’s not the case because that’s just way too disturbing to even consider. The writers are really mean in this respect this season, they love to torture us with this.
                Yeah, I interpreted as suggesting they were having sex.

                But maybe he was mistaken, or maybe I misinterpreted. So, who knows?

                Originally posted by Llywela
                Watch Dean's scenes with Castiel in the last few episodes. There is no trust there. He is deeply intimidated by the angel. And he can't be described as taking orders of any kind from God (who is very much not a character in this show!) He brings up Castiel and God in his confrontation with Sam to lend weight to his argument: that Sam's use of his powers is dangerous. Castiel's threat terrified him - someone else has their finger on the trigger, aimed at his brother, and if he can't persuade Sam to stop using his powers, Sam's life is at stake, and Dean has no way to prevent him being struck down.
                Maybe you're right, but that's not the vibe I got - rather, it seems to be that he's trusting Castiel more as time goes by, but I don't get why.

                Dean seemed angry at Sam, rather than being angry at Castiel, who threatened Sam's life.

                If, say, some other beast had threatened Sam's life, Dean would be trying to find a way to kill it, rather than being angry at Sam. If he thought Castiel was just too powerful, he could have told Sam something like, "see, there's this evil bastard who's going to kill you if you don't stop, so until we can figure out a way to kill his sorry a$$, you have to use the knife or exorcisms".

                Also, while Castiel is immune to everything they tried, they didn't try the Colt yet. Also, Castiel said some angels were killed in battle with demons. This may have been a lie, but still, they may not be invincible. In fact, that they're concerned about both Lilith and Sam suggests that the angels believe both of them could pose a threat to their dominance. Maybe they're just playing with them, but still, I don't see it as in-character for Dean not to try to do something.


                Originally posted by Llywela
                The reason Sam's powers are so dangerous lie in their source rather than how he chooses to use them, for reasons I shall address below.
                I think we don't really know the effects, so it's unclear whether it's more dangerous to use them (learning how to in the process) or not to, if they're, in fact, so dangerous (which is not so clear; after all, he hasn't done anything worse than he would have done without them).


                Originally posted by Llywela
                Sam makes no attempt to avoid Dean's punches, even though he kind of telegraphs them – maybe because he hopes it will make his brother feel better, or maybe because he feels so guilty and desperate and conflicted he thinks he deserves it. He is just so, so completely and utterly crushed – by the weightof his shattered illusions as much as by the intensity of his brother's anger. And then, man, by the shock of Castiel's warning.


                He was so delighted at the thought of having an angel on their side. He never dreamt it might not approve of him. So to find out that the angel warned his brother against him? It's just shattering, devastating – heartbreaking.
                Very good points.

                But I wonder: why does he feel like that?

                Another powerful entity shows up, and says he disapproves of Sam's actions. Sam would usually dismiss that, as he couldn't care less. Why should the fact that this particular entity (who possessed a person too) calls himself an angel make a difference?


                Originally posted by Llywela
                So just why are Sam's powers such a big deal, and why does it matter so much that he is using them? He is doing good, after all, exorcising demons, saving lives, and trying to find Lilith, who is such a huge threat.
                Well, he's sending people to Hell (the demons, who used to be human apparently), where they'll be tortured indefinitely, apparently, until they can escape...only to possess and thus torture other people, after being tortured themselves.

                But still, he's not doing anything with his powers that they had not done before with regard to exorcising demons.

                Originally posted by Llywela
                It only works on demons, he tells Dean, and that is an important point. He should be able to do a lot more – Jake's powers developed extremely fast, once he unlocked them. But it is clear that Sam has actively chosen not to explore his full range of powers in any way, but rather found just this one that seemed most benign, one with which he could achieve something good. He had promised Dean not to use his powers, but he could justify just this one to himself, because he was doing good and it was only the one power…

                But, as Dean points out, it is a slippery slope. And the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
                I'm not sure about the slippery quality. If he uses other powers, he'd have more firepower to fight all sorts of things they usually fight.

                Why are powers more dangerous in the hands of Sam than, say, in Castiel's?


                Originally posted by Llywela
                On the one hand, of course, it is possible that Show will pull a double switch on us at some point and reveal these powers as nothing to worry about after all… but given the balance of evidence it seems unlikely. For more than three seasons now Sam's powers have been inextricably linked to their demonic source and to the dark destiny he feared so much. The Yellow-Eyed Demon had big plans for his chosen one, and both Ruby's interest and Castiel's warning imply that those plans have not necessarily gone anywhere just because Azazel is dead. We have seen how easily both Ava and Jake were consumed by their power once they opened themselves up to it.
                Ruby's interest is understandable if she wants to be on the side of the winner and she believes Sam is powerful.

                Castiel also would be worried against any threats to the angels plan (whatever that plan is), or their dominance over demons and people (if they're actually the top dogs, which might be the case based on what we saw, but is not certain).

                Still, all of that suggests that Sam is powerful, but I'm not sure he's necessarily evil. So far, he does not seem to have changed his priorities because of his powers; he's just using another tool to achieve his goals.

                Ok, it's true that he may be having sex with Ruby. But there's no reason to think that it's because of the powers.


                Originally posted by Llywela
                No matter how careful Sam believes he is being, he is taking an enormous risk, and it is the potential damage to Sam's soul that is the big cause of concern, and always has been. These powers were given to him by the YED for evil purposes, and Sam has been taking guidance from a demon, whose agenda remains unknown. Ruby cannot be trusted. At the end of the day, how Sam uses his powers might not ultimately matter – it is the fact of his using them at all that lies at the heart of Castiel's warning.
                Demon, angel, they both possess people, are powerful, have unknown agendas, and frankly don't seem to be good. I wouldn't trust either of them.

                Yes, it is possible that using the powers is the problem. But maybe not necessarily so. As for the Azazeal, he gave the powers to Sam to pursue his own agenda, that's true. But we don't know how he was planning to exert control over Sam.

                Azazeal had to threaten to kill the other guy's family in a very painful manner to have him do his bidding (the guy who killed Sam), so it's not as though the guy went evil just by having the powers. And so far, I don't see any sign of a change in Sam's agenda (again, possible sex with Ruby aside).


                Originally posted by Llywela
                Or is it his alliance with Ruby that is causing the concern, over and above what his powers might mean for him?
                That can be just a temporary arrangement for Sam; he doesn't seem to be taking orders from her or doing anything (e.g., exorcising demons) he wouldn't have done without her.

                If he's having sex with her, though, that's a problem as well...but neither Dean nor Castiel seemed concerned about that. They didn't even bring it up.


                Originally posted by Llywela
                I really, really want some insight into Ruby's endgame now. She has always been a difficult character to make out, largely because she doesn't have any natural confidante. The only person she really talks to is Sam, and we can't rely on her to be telling him the truth at any given time, so we have no opportunity to gain insight into her motivations and ambitions.

                My gut tells me, however, that she isn't to be trusted in the slightest, and that her change in attitude this season is merely the latest phase of the very clever long game she is playing. Last season she tried to bribe and bully Sam into submission, using Dean's life as bait, pushing and goading, but none of it worked, and Sam held firm and refused to give in to the pressure, refused to unlock his powers.
                I also would like to know what she's up to.

                I'm not sure what events you're referring to, though. When did she try to bribe and bully Sam into submission? I don't recall her doing that. She seemed to be trying to get Sam's trust, and to convince him that it was a good idea to use his powers, but didn't show signs of trying to get him to submit to any agenda (and it's not clear what her agenda is, anyway).

                I don't see "convincing him to use his powers" as "getting him to submit", if that's what you mean. Azazeal was the one trying to force Sam and others to do his bidding, whereas Ruby seems to be talking about helping Sam achieve his agenda, which she claims to share.

                That said, it's true that she's cooperating in sending people to Hell, despite her saying that she wouldn't wish that on her worst enemy. But then, they do that anyway, with or without Ruby.

                It's also true that she may be having sex with Sam. Still, her agenda is not clear yet.


                Originally posted by Llywela
                What is also clear is that although Ruby is playing nice with Sam and helping him save lives, she is doing so because she needs to keep Sam on side and maintain his trust, and not because she cares about the lives they are saving in any way. She would not have hesitated to kill Dean if Sam hadn't called her off – she is certainly no Lenore. No, her helpful attitude is definitely a means to an end with Sam, rather than stemming from her own beliefs. She is a dangerous guide for Sam to be following.
                To be fair, though, Dean tried to kill her first, and for no good reason I'd say (I mean, why was he trying to kill her?), so no wonder she was pissed.

                Still, I don't think she would have killed him in front of Sam, though she would have beaten him up.

                I'm not certain Sam is a mean to an end to her, but it seems likely. However, that probably works both ways (i.e., Sam seems to be using her for his own agenda, rather than being with her out of love).

                On the other hand, Castiel is using Dean for his agenda, yet Dean doesn't seem to be able to use Castiel. Further, Castiel is more powerful than Ruby. Sam can fight Ruby and even send her to Hell if it comes to that, but I don't know what Dean can do against Castiel; Dean doesn't even seem to be looking for a weapon.

                So, I think they're both playing with fire, but at least Sam has a fire-extinguisher at hand.

                Originally posted by Llywela
                So, I don't think Sam is sleeping with her – but I do believe that his alliance with her is dangerous and wrong.
                If he's not having sex with her, the only thing I would say is wrong about that is his sending people to Hell, but then again, they'd do that anyway.

                What is it that you find wrong about his actions?

                Originally posted by Llywela
                Castiel might not be in this episode, but it is worth considering him, alongside Ruby. He is an angel, a warrior for the side of good. That much seems pretty definitively established.
                They call him an angel, but the question becomes: what's an angel?

                He claims to be a warrior at the service of the Biblical god, Yahweh. That has not been established (and the existence of that entity in the SN-verse has not been established, either), and in any case, I see no reason to think he's good.

                Originally posted by Llywela
                But it is also very clear that he is not benign or benevolent in any way, and can be manipulative in the extreme, his intentions not necessarily to be trusted any more than Ruby's.
                I fully agree.


                Originally posted by Llywela
                Here, he effectively wound Dean up like a toy soldier and pointed him at his brother – was that a deliberate strategy, we have to wonder, manipulating both brothers? Or was it another example of his lack of insight into how human emotions and reactions really work?
                He does not seem that bad at manipulating.

                Originally posted by Llywela
                Castiel's interest lies in the Big Picture. So where do the Winchester brothers fit into that picture, we have to wonder? For what ultimate purpose was Dean singled out to be dragged out of hell? Why is Sam so important? Is this intervention about saving Sam for Sam's own sake or for Dean's? Is it important to the angelic forces that Sam remains in play, for some reason, rather than being struck down on the spot?
                Another question is: are they afraid?
                They actually seemed concerned about Azazeal's plan, so probably they're not invincible after all.

                So, what's that "Big Picture"? Eliminate all potential rivals, perhaps?

                Is this intervention about saving Sam, or rather about saving themselves?

                Given the lack of intervention for so long, it seems unlikely that they're doing it for Sam, or for any human for that matter.

                It seems more likely that they're doing it for their own sake: more entities vying for power.


                Originally posted by galathea
                Dean doesn't necessarily trust Castiel. He has been wary of the idea of God and angels and might be coming around slowly, since Castiel so far seems to be the real deal, every factual evidence so far comfirms it and Dean would be stupid to simply dismiss even the possibility. Does that mean that Dean blindly trusts in everything Castie says? No, especially not when Castiel puts himself into an adversary position when it comes to Sam. Dean using the 'God doesn't want you to do this' argument is simply a means to use Sam's own faith against him. Sam is a believer and by using this argument Dean shattered Sam's defensive stance.
                That's possible, but Dean seemed actually morally condemning Sam, in my view.

                But I've commented on this above and this post is getting way too long :eek:, so I'll leave it at that.

                I'll just ask a question about "the real deal"?

                What do you mean by that?

                Castiel seems to be a powerful entity, yes.

                He claims to be connected to Yahweh. There's no evidence of that, but in any case, I see no evidence that Castiel is any good.

                Originally posted by galathea
                Dean's problem is simple: He is afraid for his brother. He is scared. Every evidence they came across so far points to the fact that once the psychic kids opened themselves to their powers they went evil in the blink of an eye. Ava, Jake, Anseem, all turned into psychopaths as soon as their powers were unlocked.
                Ok, you have a point there. Still, while the evidence seems to suggest that the powers are tempting, it's not so cut and dry.

                There was this mind-control guy (I don't remember the name) who got it under control eventually, and decided not to do more damage. There were other psychic kids that got killed by the murderous ones, but that doesn't mean they were so - in fact, Azazeal set up a scenario which would likely eliminate those who weren't murderers.

                The guy with super-strength had to be threatened into submission. He wasn't a psychopath, even if he did wrong.

                The telekinetic guy who killed his step-family acted out of revenge and then killed himself. Also, not a psychopath even if he was a murderer.

                And there's Sam, who is using his powers but does not seem to have changed his character.

                So, it's possible, but not that clear.

                Originally posted by galathea
                At the moment Sam's activities surely seem harmless, but where do they end and is he really able to draw a line when necessary? Their knowledge about how the powers work and how they affect Sam is minimal, using them might pose a risk that leads to Sam losing his humanity. That's why Dean fights Sam using his powers with everything he has. He doesn't want to lose his brother.
                Yes, that could be possible, and I'd actually like it much better.

                My impression, though, is that Dean is taking a stance with no evidence - a stance in favor of Castiel, about whom they know just as little (and what they do know doesn't look pretty in my view).

                Originally posted by galathea
                Sam is sending demons back to hell, not persons.
                This would probably require a philosophy thread, but what does that claim mean?

                I mean, if you're saying that demons aren't persons, you just seem to be using the word "person" to refer to other entities than the ones I refer to, since we do not disagree on the properties of demons (at least, there is no reason to think we do).

                In other words, if I call them persons and you don't, what's the basis for telling who's right?

                Surely, if someone said that a mosquito is a person, we could say he's mistaken and doesn't know the meaning of "person", since we all (or nearly all) agree not to use the word "person" to talk about mosquitoes.

                But what if significant portions of the linguistic community use a word (like "person", and I'm not talking only about whether to use it for demons) to refer to some entity, and other significant portion do not, without any disagreement on the properties of the entity?

                It's not clear to me how many people would call Supernatural's demons "persons", and how many would not.

                What seems clear is that a variety of entities in TV shows, movies etc., are called "person", apart from humans.

                For example, consider Angel, Connor, Cordelia, Lorne, etc.; they're usually called "persons", even though they're not human.

                John Winchester, when he came out of Hell as some sort of smoke and then took his shape (IIRC) would probably be called a person too, at least by most viewers.

                I would apply the word "person" to Ruby, Azazeal, etc., but it seems you wouldn't. I would also use it to refer to Castiel. I'm not sure whether you would.

                But my point is, I think we're not disagreeing about the properties of a demon, but rather using a word (namely, "person") differently.

                Not that the word we use makes a difference regarding their actions and the actions done to them, in my view (unless the word "person" is being used to implicitly make a moral judgment, but I'll leave it at that because it would take an entire thread :eek: ).
                Originally posted by galathea
                Why would Dean blame Sam for that?
                Because they're going to be tortured indefinitely] unless they manage to escape?

                And if they do escape, that's no good, either, since they torture others (when they possess them, for instance) and even get others in Hell (when they make deals).

                Supernatural's demons were human once, and turned into demons after centuries of constant torture. And now they're bad, but Sam is getting them a bit (i.e., centuries, millennia, who knows how long) more tortured. Ruby said once she wouldn't wish Hell on her worse enemy. I share that view (now, she was apparently lying, but that's another story).

                But still, no need to get into a long debate over this. Their behavior with regard to demons hasn't changed, anyway.


                Originally posted by galathea
                Sure, there is a chance that the demons claw their way back from hell, but if faced with the choice between killing the victim along with the demon (knife) or saving the victim and sending the demon back to hell for an indefinite amount of time (exorcism), saving the victim should always have priority.
                I don't know about that.

                The demon has already suffered horrible torture for centuries. Now they're bad, but if they're sent back to Hell, they will be tortured indefinitely, unless they manage to escape. But if they do escape, that's good for them but bad for their new victims, who get possessed and thus tortured instead.

                So, there's no good outcome to this and it seems like a moral dilemma to me, but given the choice, I think preventing indefinite torture (centuries, millennia, maybe more) takes priority, so the knife would be more humane, even if it kills the victims too.

                On that note, I'm not sure the victims actually die (i.e., cease to exist), though. Demons apparently do, but the knife isn't supposed to have any special power on other entities, so I suppose the victims probably move on somewhere else.

                Granted, there's the problem that the victim might end up in Hell as well, but there's no certainty that they will (though it's not possible to know how likely that is). On the other hand, it's certain that the exorcized demons will, so there's a lower risk, even though the victims are not the ones doing the crime here...though one, but still the certainty of Hell takes precedence in my view and should be prevented.

                Ultimately, though, the only good plan would seem to be, from my perspective, to destroy Hell (either destroying the demons, or putting them in a place where they can't do damage but don't get tortured - the best solution would be to..."un-demonize"? them), but that's easier said than done.

                Still, Castiel took Dean out of Hell, and Dean does not seem to remember, so maybe it could be possible (given sufficient power) to save the demons from Hell too, and turn them into humans again (or at least into the spirits they were after their bodies died, instead of demons). I'm not sure where Dean and Sam could get that kind of power, though.

                Still, we don't need to get into these moral dilemmas.

                We can agree that Dean does not blame Sam for that.

                Originally posted by galathea
                We don't know if Sam actually has sex with Ruby and his general demeanor in this episode, his concern for the people he saves from demons, makes it even more unlikely to me that Sam would even consider having sexual relations with Ruby. There is no reason for Dean to believe at the moment that there is anything sexual between them. I doubt that he recognised her from the motel room in Lazarus Rising and the demons remark about Sam 'slutting around with demons' isn't necessarily related to Ruby and Sam having sexual relations but can simply refer to Sam selling his soul out by working with a demon.
                I thought he probably recognized her from the motel, but if he didn't, then you're right Dean may not believe that Sam is having sex with her, so obviously he's not going to blame Sam for that (regardless of whether or not Sam is having sex with her, which we'll have to wait and see to find out, I guess).

                Originally posted by galathea
                Obviously her need for power over Sam overpowers her fear of Castiel at the moment. All we know about Ruby's plan so far is that she is interested in the YEDs plans for Sam (TKAA) and that she sees Sam as a weapon she can use in her own agenda to overthrow Lilith (NRFTW).
                Which would prevent Lucifer from rising, if Castiel is telling the truth...why would he be so opposed to that?

                Plenty of questions... though I'm not sure they'll all be answered. Fantasy shows tend to have a lot of unanswered questions...and then fans debate on the internet and try to figure them out...

                Originally posted by Rosely
                If Sam is really having sex with Ruby... is that rape?
                Cause Meg said that she was awake for most of the 'ride'. So if Sam is having sex with Ruby, wouldn't the original girl feel and experience it, without actually wanting it?
                So would that qualify as rape?? Cause I would think so!
                Yes, that's what I thought.

                The fact that no one can hear the girl scream and fight doesn't mean she consented.
                It reminds me of Jasmine/Connor, only Connor (unlike Sam) didn't know.

                But then again, maybe Sam isn't having sex with her after all. We'll have to wait and see.
                Last edited by EvilVampire; 12-10-08, 08:10 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rosely View Post
                  Just wondering...

                  If Sam is really having sex with Ruby... is that rape?
                  Cause Meg said that she was awake for most of the 'ride'. So if Sam is having sex with Ruby, wouldn't the original girl feel and experience it, without actually wanting it?
                  So would that qualify as rape?? Cause I would think so!
                  Yes. It definitely would qualify as rape. One reason I do not believe it is happening.
                  Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                  Maybe you're right, but that's not the vibe I got - rather, it seems to be that he's trusting Castiel more as time goes by, but I don't get why.

                  Dean seemed angry at Sam, rather than being angry at Castiel, who threatened Sam's life.

                  If, say, some other beast had threatened Sam's life, Dean would be trying to find a way to kill it, rather than being angry at Sam. If he thought Castiel was just too powerful, he could have told Sam something like, "see, there's this evil bastard who's going to kill you if you don't stop, so until we can figure out a way to kill his sorry a$$, you have to use the knife or exorcisms".
                  Dean is getting used to the idea of Castiel as time goes by and is starting to accept that he is what he says he is: an angel. He believed him when he said that he if couldn't stop Sam then the angels would. That is not necessarily the same thing as trusting him.

                  And honestly, I think you are over-simplifying your argument with this whole powers = must be killed trip. If you have watched the last three seasons, you will know that there has been a long-running debate over the fact that supernatural doesn't automatically have to equal evil. Having an apparent angel of the Lord on the brothers' side should be a good thing, meaning that they aren't alone in their fight against evil. Dean has found the idea very difficult to come to terms with, because all he has ever known is evil. And even if Castiel can't be trusted where Sam's safety is concerned - because Sam is doing something considered wrong - it still doesn't make him prey. All powerful entities are not equal.

                  If you read my post above, you will see that I already explained exactly why Dean's anger was directed at Sam - Sam was the one who betrayed the promise he'd made, lied to Dean repeatedly, and chose to follow this dark road that Dean cannot approve of, thus putting them in this situation in the first place. Plus he was panicking, and that fear was translating into further anger.

                  Anger at Castiel could very well still come - remember in season two Dean was angry with John for putting him in the exact same position. But Dean is not in any position to do anything about any anger he feels toward Castiel.

                  I think we don't really know the effects, so it's unclear whether it's more dangerous to use them (learning how to in the process) or not to, if they're, in fact, so dangerous (which is not so clear; after all, he hasn't done anything worse than he would have done without them).
                  We don't fully know the effects - it is the fear of the unknown as much as anything else. But the fact is that the YED implanted these powers in Sam for evil purposes, and every one of the other psychic kids who opted to unlock and use those powers was consumed by them. Therefore it is logical to assume that Sam doing likewise is dangerous, especially when he is taking guidance from a demon whose full agenda remains unknown - a demon who has admitted her interest in discovering the YED's plans.

                  But I wonder: why does he feel like that?

                  Another powerful entity shows up, and says he disapproves of Sam's actions. Sam would usually dismiss that, as he couldn't care less. Why should the fact that this particular entity (who possessed a person too) calls himself an angel make a difference?
                  Because it is an angel of the Lord - a warrior of God, a force for good. At this point, that much seems pretty definitive. And Sam is a believer. He has wanted desperately for a long time to believe that there was a power for good out there, something greater than himself and his brother, something that would be on his side. And now he knows that there is a God out there, who has sent his angelic warriors into the world to intervene and prevent the coming Apocalypse...but who disapproves of Sam and what he has been doing. It is devastating.

                  Well, he's sending people to Hell (the demons, who used to be human apparently), where they'll be tortured indefinitely, apparently, until they can escape...only to possess and thus torture other people, after being tortured themselves.

                  But still, he's not doing anything with his powers that they had not done before with regard to exorcising demons.
                  Like I said above, it isn't what he's doing - it is how he's doing it.

                  Exorcising demons to hell is good - they aren't human any more and haven't been in centuries. Unless they can be destroyed completely - which requires also killing their human host - hell is the only place to send them in order to prevent the death and destruction they wreak in this world.

                  But Sam is doing it with his mind, using the powers the YED gave him and therefore potentially opening himself up to evil.

                  I'm not sure about the slippery quality. If he uses other powers, he'd have more firepower to fight all sorts of things they usually fight.

                  Why are powers more dangerous in the hands of Sam than, say, in Castiel's?
                  Frankly - yes. Powers are more dangerous in Sam's hands than in Castiel's. I hesitate to make much commentary on Castiel because we don't know enough about him, but his powers are his own. Sam's were given to him by a demon who wanted to use Sam and his powers to rule the world. Sam is human and corruptible and is being groomed by a demon. I'm not sure what it is about this concept that you find so hard to grasp.

                  Ruby's interest is understandable if she wants to be on the side of the winner and she believes Sam is powerful.
                  Yes, exactly. But she is a demon and we don't know what her agenda is - she cannot be trusted with Sam and his power because the balance of probability says she wants to bend that power to her own ends.

                  Still, all of that suggests that Sam is powerful, but I'm not sure he's necessarily evil. So far, he does not seem to have changed his priorities because of his powers; he's just using another tool to achieve his goals.

                  Ok, it's true that he may be having sex with Ruby. But there's no reason to think that it's because of the powers.
                  Nobody has said that Sam is evil - he absolutely is not. However, in his grief and despair he has allowed himself to slide down a potentially very dark road. He has been misguided. The ends do not always justify the means.

                  Even if he was having sex with Ruby, of course it would not be because of the powers - it would be because he was in a dark place and had slid very badly off the rails. However, I don't believe that has happened.

                  Demon, angel, they both possess people, are powerful, have unknown agendas, and frankly don't seem to be good. I wouldn't trust either of them.
                  Again, I said above that I don't believe Castiel can be trusted either. I do believe, based on currently available evidence, that he is what he says he is - an angel of the Lord and a warrior for good - but that does not mean that his objectives are going to be the same as the Winchester brothers'. His eyes are fixed on the Big Picture, the greater good, while their concerns are much more small-scale. Conflict is inevitable, and Castiel could well turn out to be dangerous..

                  That can be just a temporary arrangement for Sam; he doesn't seem to be taking orders from her or doing anything (e.g., exorcising demons) he wouldn't have done without her.

                  If he's having sex with her, though, that's a problem as well...but neither Dean nor Castiel seemed concerned about that. They didn't even bring it up.
                  Sam might well consider it a temporary arrangement - Ruby is the one taking orders from him, remember. But it is clear that he trusts her a lot more than he realises he does - she has a great deal of very subtle influence over him. And that is the danger - it could be a lot harder to shake her off permanently than he realises.

                  Castiel knew where Sam was, so no doubt he would know whether or not they were having sex, but either way it really is not his concern - that's small picture and he's about the big picture. And Dean only saw Sam and Ruby together exorcising that man, so the question of whether or not they have had sex would be the absolute last thing on his mind. He doesn't remember the girl from a fleeting encounter several weeks ago when he had eyes only for his brother anyway.

                  I'm not sure what events you're referring to, though. When did she try to bribe and bully Sam into submission? I don't recall her doing that. She seemed to be trying to get Sam's trust, and to convince him that it was a good idea to use his powers, but didn't show signs of trying to get him to submit to any agenda (and it's not clear what her agenda is, anyway).
                  Ruby was bribing Sam throughout season three - offering vague assurances that she could save Dean if only he followed her bidding, telling him he had to toughen up and harden his heart and do things that went against his gentle nature - seeing how far she could push him. Yes, she was trying to get his trust, and yes, she wanted to convince him to use his powers - but her tactics were a lot more aggressive than they have been this season.

                  No, we don't know what her agenda is yes - but there is no reason to believe it is going to be good. At the moment she is helping Sam, encouraging him to save people - it is a much more effective means of gaining his trust than the more aggressive tactics last season. And just because she seems so docile now does not mean that it is for real - she is a good actress, and highly manipulative. I believe that all her helpfulness is aimed at manipulating Sam in order to achieve her own ends, which remain unknown. Encouraging him to develop his powers is a large part of that - she stated right at the beginning of their acquaintance that it was his powers and the YED's plans that she was interested in. There is no reason to assume that has changed just because time has gone by. She is playing a very clever, subtle long game.

                  To be fair, though, Dean tried to kill her first, and for no good reason I'd say (I mean, why was he trying to kill her?), so no wonder she was pissed.

                  Still, I don't think she would have killed him in front of Sam, though she would have beaten him up.
                  Dean was trying to kill her because she is a demon, possessing an innocent, and he saw her mentoring his brother to use his powers, which Dean is massively opposed to - of course he wants to send her straight back to hell. He always has. Dean does not trust demons.

                  Castiel is using Dean for his agenda, yet Dean doesn't seem to be able to use Castiel. Further, Castiel is more powerful than Ruby. Sam can fight Ruby and even send her to Hell if it comes to that, but I don't know what Dean can do against Castiel; Dean doesn't even seem to be looking for a weapon.

                  So, I think they're both playing with fire, but at least Sam has a fire-extinguisher at hand.
                  So far, Dean has only had very brief, fleeting encounters with Castiel in which he was very much at a disadvantage. He has only had opportunity to react. Ruby, on the other hand, has a long association with the brothers now. They are two very different creatures and cannot be treated in the same way.

                  And yes, both are potentially very dangerous, and both brothers need to be very careful.

                  If he's not having sex with her, the only thing I would say is wrong about that is his sending people to Hell, but then again, they'd do that anyway.

                  What is it that you find wrong about his actions?
                  How many times do I have to explain this? Read my posts!

                  So, what's that "Big Picture"? Eliminate all potential rivals, perhaps?
                  Impending Apocalypse ringing any bells? 66 Seals being opened one by one, angels being killed in battle trying to prevent the release of Lucifer? Dean and Sam are small fry in comparison - but the angels are interested in them for a reason. It remains to be seen what that reason is.

                  I'm going to leave this now, because you seem to be arguing around in circles but not understanding the points we are making.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Dean is getting used to the idea of Castiel as time goes by and is starting to accept that he is what he says he is: an angel.
                    It seems so, but the question is: what's an angel, and what are they up to?

                    Castiel is another powerful entity, who uses the word "angel" to name the kind of thing that he is. But what does Dean know Castiel, his powers and intentions?

                    Castiel gave a little more information (or misinformation, perhaps).

                    He identified himself with the Biblical angels, identified his boss (though we've seen no evidence of it) with the Biblical god, Yahweh, and identified his enemy with another Biblical angel, Lucifer. Does Dean believe in the Bible? And if he does, the question is: what does he think about Yahweh and his angels?

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    He believed him when he said that he if couldn't stop Sam then the angels would. That is not necessarily the same thing as trusting him.
                    True, but still, he seemed angry with Sam, not with the person threatening Sam's life.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    And honestly, I think you are over-simplifying your argument with this whole powers = must be killed trip.
                    But that's not what I'm saying.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    If you have watched the last three seasons, you will know that there has been a long-running debate over the fact that supernatural doesn't automatically have to equal evil.
                    Precisely, that's my point.

                    If Dean does not want to kill everything with powers, why is he saying that he would like to hunt Sam if he didn't know him?

                    On the other hand, if he wants to kill everything with powers, why is he not after Castiel?

                    And if it's not because of their having powers, but because of what they do, then why would he want to kill Sam (if he didn't know Sam), but not Castiel (who's threatening to kill Sam)?

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Having an apparent angel of the Lord on the brothers' side should be a good thing, meaning that they aren't alone in their fight against evil.
                    I think this may be part of the reason for our different views here.

                    I don't think that's the case. If that's an actual angel of the Lord, and the Lord is (as Castiel claimed) the Biblical Yahweh, then I'd say that having one of them on their side might be a good thing in terms of having a good chance of picking a powerful side, but they'd be fighting for evil.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Dean has found the idea very difficult to come to terms with, because all he has ever known is evil. And even if Castiel can't be trusted where Sam's safety is concerned - because Sam is doing something considered wrong - it still doesn't make him prey. All powerful entities are not equal.
                    No, but this one does not seem particularly good to me. I suspect that that's the thing: Dean and I just don't judge Biblical characters in the same light.

                    Still, I'd say that Dean is just counting them as "good" because of a name; words like "God", "Lord", "angel" are, for most people, associated with words like "good", "right", not with "evil", "wrong", etc., so that might make Dean consider them the "good guys", even though they haven't shown any particularly good behavior.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    If you read my post above, you will see that I already explained exactly why Dean's anger was directed at Sam - Sam was the one who betrayed the promise he'd made, lied to Dean repeatedly, and chose to follow this dark road that Dean cannot approve of, thus putting them in this situation in the first place. Plus he was panicking, and that fear was translating into further anger.
                    I partly agree that that may have been some of Dean's reasons (though I don't agree with your assessment of their responsibility), but my impression is that there's more to it: my impression is that Dean is buying what Castiel is selling, even if not all at once.


                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Anger at Castiel could very well still come - remember in season two Dean was angry with John for putting him in the exact same position. But Dean is not in any position to do anything about any anger he feels toward Castiel.
                    He could try to figure out how to bring him down, if necessary.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    We don't fully know the effects - it is the fear of the unknown as much as anything else. But the fact is that the YED implanted these powers in Sam for evil purposes, and every one of the other psychic kids who opted to unlock and use those powers was consumed by them. Therefore it is logical to assume that Sam doing likewise is dangerous, especially when he is taking guidance from a demon whose full agenda remains unknown - a demon who has admitted her interest in discovering the YED's plans.
                    I wouldn't go that far (see my previous post).

                    Still, I would go as far as saying that he should keep his guard up with regard to Sam's powers. But still, not so clear that he'd become evil, and so far evidence suggests otherwise, since Sam's agenda hasn't changed.

                    Originally posted by L?ywela
                    Because it is an angel of the Lord - a warrior of God, a force for good. At this point, that much seems pretty definitive.
                    I'd say a force for evil, if Castiel's claim is true - though it's not clear it is true.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    And Sam is a believer. He has wanted desperately for a long time to believe that there was a power for good out there, something greater than himself and his brother, something that would be on his side. And now he knows that there is a God out there, who has sent his angelic warriors into the world to intervene and prevent the coming Apocalypse...but who disapproves of Sam and what he has been doing. It is devastating.
                    While I agree that Sam may have believed in something greater and good, my question is: why would he believe that this particular entity is good?

                    Then again, maybe it's time to leave it there and agree to disagree. Else, this might end up being Boiler Room material...

                    I'm thinking I'll just watch the show for the fun of it and stop debating it.


                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Like I said above, it isn't what he's doing - it is how he's doing it.
                    I commented on this before, and we seem to be going in circles here... I'll drop it, then.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Exorcising demons to hell is good - they aren't human any more and haven't been in centuries. Unless they can be destroyed completely - which requires also killing their human host - hell is the only place to send them in order to prevent the death and destruction they wreak in this world.
                    I don't see that as good, as I mentioned before (I gave reasons in my previous post), but still, I'm not saying that Dean complains about that.


                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Frankly - yes. Powers are more dangerous in Sam's hands than in Castiel's. I hesitate to make much commentary on Castiel because we don't know enough about him, but his powers are his own. Sam's were given to him by a demon who wanted to use Sam and his powers to rule the world. Sam is human and corruptible and is being groomed by a demon. I'm not sure what it is about this concept that you find so hard to grasp.
                    In which sense are Castiel's powers his own?

                    If he's telling the truth, then his powers were given to him by Yahweh, and in any case, he's acting under Yahweh's orders.

                    Sam got the powers from Azazeal, but then, he's not taking orders from Azazeal.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Yes, exactly. But she is a demon and we don't know what her agenda is - she cannot be trusted with Sam and his power because the balance of probability says she wants to bend that power to her own ends.
                    Probably, but at least they know how to kill her if necessary.
                    Castiel, on the other hand, is more difficult to handle.


                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Even if he was having sex with Ruby, of course it would not be because of the powers - it would be because he was in a dark place and had slid very badly off the rails. However, I don't believe that has happened.
                    Ok, so the powers haven't changed his agenda, which was my point.
                    But I maybe we could agree to disagree?
                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Again, I said above that I don't believe Castiel can be trusted either. I do believe, based on currently available evidence, that he is what he says he is - an angel of the Lord and a warrior for good - but that does not mean that his objectives are going to be the same as the Winchester brothers'. His eyes are fixed on the Big Picture, the greater good, while their concerns are much more small-scale. Conflict is inevitable, and Castiel could well turn out to be dangerous..
                    Demons, angels, etc., seem to be looking at some big picture, plan big schemes, etc.
                    I just wouldn't call any of them good, but I guess Dean and Sam see it differently. I don't see why, though, except for the fact that some of them use the names "angel", "God", etc., with people traditionally called good, not evil.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Sam might well consider it a temporary arrangement - Ruby is the one taking orders from him, remember. But it is clear that he trusts her a lot more than he realises he does - she has a great deal of very subtle influence over him. And that is the danger - it could be a lot harder to shake her off permanently than he realises.
                    Yeah, that's possible.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Castiel knew where Sam was, so no doubt he would know whether or not they were having sex, but either way it really is not his concern - that's small picture and he's about the big picture. And Dean only saw Sam and Ruby together exorcising that man, so the question of whether or not they have had sex would be the absolute last thing on his mind. He doesn't remember the girl from a fleeting encounter several weeks ago when he had eyes only for his brother anyway.
                    We don't know he doesn't remember her, but I think you make a good point about that, given that he was just out of Hell.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Ruby was bribing Sam throughout season three - offering vague assurances that she could save Dean if only he followed her bidding, telling him he had to toughen up and harden his heart and do things that went against his gentle nature - seeing how far she could push him. Yes, she was trying to get his trust, and yes, she wanted to convince him to use his powers - but her tactics were a lot more aggressive than they have been this season.
                    But she was telling him to use his powers to pursue the agenda he already had (fight demons, etc.).

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Dean was trying to kill her because she is a demon, possessing an innocent, and he saw her mentoring his brother to use his powers, which Dean is massively opposed to - of course he wants to send her straight back to hell. He always has. Dean does not trust demons.
                    Dean didn't try to kill her before, and yes, she's a demon possessing a girl, whereas Castiel is an angel possessing a guy...

                    I do think he was trying to kill her because she was teaching Sam to use his powers, but then, I don't see that as a particularly good reason to kill her. If they want to do it to spare the possessed girl the suffering, that I would get - but I didn't get the idea that that's why he wanted to kill her for.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    How many times do I have to explain this? Read my posts!
                    I have, and I don't want to fight, so I guess I'll be out of this thread soon , but all I get is that you see it wrong that he uses his powers to send demons to Hell, even though you seem to concede that he's doing the same that was doing before (i.e., sending demons to hell), only by different means.

                    As for the ends not justifying the means, again, what's wrong with the means in your view, given that his goals have not changed by using them, and is not hurting anyone any more than before, etc.?

                    The best I can interpret is that you say that what he's doing is wrong because it's dangerous (because of what could happen). If so, I don't think that that's the most dangerous thing they're doing.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Originally posted by EvilVampire
                    So, what's that "Big Picture"? Eliminate all potential rivals, perhaps?
                    Impending Apocalypse ringing any bells? 66 Seals being opened one by one, angels being killed in battle trying to prevent the release of Lucifer?
                    So, eliminate potential rivals...

                    I'm not sure about the apocalypse part, though. Does Lucifer want to destroy the world, or rather beat the angels and Yahweh?

                    It's not clear what Lucifer's agenda is (if it's true what Castiel said about Lilith trying to release Lucifer).

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    Dean and Sam are small fry in comparison - but the angels are interested in them for a reason. It remains to be seen what that reason is.
                    If the angels look at the big picture, a possibility is that they (or rather Sam, since they got Dean out of Hell to stop Sam, apparently) may be a threat to them.

                    Originally posted by Llywela
                    I'm going to leave this now, because you seem to be arguing around in circles but not understanding the points we are making.
                    I think the same about your arguments in this thread, actually.

                    It's quite common in on-line debates, anyway, but I didn't think this one would turn that bad - and that long :eek:

                    Don't worry, though, it won't happen in future threads.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                      Does Dean believe in the Bible? And if he does, the question is: what does he think about Yahweh and his angels?
                      I've not read the bible and no intention to either. So I've never heard of Yahweh and have no clue why this is brought in to discussion... But I think it's fair to say that Dean does not believe in the bible.

                      True, but still, he seemed angry with Sam, not with the person threatening Sam's life.
                      On the other hand, if he wants to kill everything with powers, why is he not after Castiel?
                      Cause Sam lied
                      Cause Castiel might be on the side of good

                      Plus, he tried to kill Castiel in the end of LR and has no clue as to how to

                      And if it's not because of their having powers, but because of what they do, then why would he want to kill Sam (if he didn't know Sam), but not Castiel (who's threatening to kill Sam)?
                      Cause of what he has seen with Ava, Jake and others (Nightmares, Simon Said): once unlocked these powers make their host evil.
                      Sam could be only a few steps away from turning evil. IF he hadn't know Sam, loved him like nothing else, he wouldn't want to take the risk of him becoming evil and all consequences.

                      I don't think that's the case. If that's an actual angel of the Lord, and the Lord is (as Castiel claimed) the Biblical Yahweh, then I'd say that having one of them on their side might be a good thing in terms of having a good chance of picking a powerful side, but they'd be fighting for evil.
                      for evil????

                      No, but this one does not seem particularly good to me. I suspect that that's the thing: Dean and I just don't judge Biblical characters in the same light.
                      Well then... there you have your answer and so no need for discussion

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rosely
                        I've not read the bible and no intention to either. So I've never heard of Yahweh and have no clue why this is brought in to discussion... But I think it's fair to say that Dean does not believe in the bible.
                        Castiel brought it up, IIRC: When Dean was questioning Castiel's actions, he told Dean "read the Bible". By doing so, Castiel identified himself with the Biblical angels, and thus his god with Yahweh.

                        Originally posted by Rosely
                        Cause Sam lied
                        Cause Castiel might be on the side of good
                        And Sam couldn't?
                        Sam lied - though Dean wouldn't know it if he didn't know Sam.
                        Castiel threatened to kill Sam, destroyed a person's eyes, etc.
                        Yet, Dean feels like hunting Sam, but not Castiel.

                        Originally posted by Rosely
                        Plus, he tried to kill Castiel in the end of LR and has no clue as to how to
                        That is true, though I'm not sure he should have tried at that moment. I'm saying that I don't see why he sees Castiel as good and Sam as prey.

                        I do think Dean would have to try to find a way to kill Castiel, just in case that is necessary.

                        Originally posted by Rosely
                        Cause of what he has seen with Ava, Jake and others (Nightmares, Simon Said): once unlocked these powers make their host evil.
                        Sam could be only a few steps away from turning evil. IF he hadn't know Sam, loved him like nothing else, he wouldn't want to take the risk of him becoming evil and all consequences.
                        I mentioned that before. But still, I suppose that he might want to hunt him for that. I don't think that he'd have nearly enough evidence to do so.

                        Originally posted by Rosely
                        for evil????
                        Yes, that is the way I see it.

                        Yes, I do know that many people see it differently.

                        Originally posted by Rosely
                        Well then... there you have your answer and so no need for discussion
                        Yes, I guess maybe I got it right eventually.

                        I just didn't know Dean would have those views, but that could explain a few things. Personally, I liked the show better in the past, when there weren't so many religious overtones. But anyway, it's still fun.

                        I think I'll probably avoid debating later episodes, though. For heated debates, I already have the threads about politics, religion and philosophy.
                        Last edited by EvilVampire; 12-10-08, 10:33 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                          I'm saying that I don't see why he sees Castiel as good and Sam as prey.
                          You keep asking the same question and we keep giving the same answer.
                          You just have a different view to it....
                          But to Dean it is portrayed like this:
                          Sams powers come from a demon: evil
                          Castiels powers come from a god: good

                          Now, let's just assume that Castiel is actually who he says he is, the we can assume that he's on the side of good.
                          Maybe it'll turn out not to be, but for this moment we have no reason to believe otherwise.

                          I mentioned that before. But still, I suppose that he might want to hunt him for that. I don't think that he'd have nearly enough evidence to do so.
                          Gordon Walker had no evidence at all......
                          given he was insane, but still

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rosely
                            You keep asking the same question and we keep giving the same answer.
                            You just have a different view to it....
                            But to Dean it is portrayed like this:
                            Sams powers come from a demon: evil
                            Castiels powers come from a god: good
                            Alright, so let's say what I didn't get is why the mere fact that some entity uses words like "god", or "angel" causes Dean to associate him with good.

                            But I guess it's a matter of the cultural associations of the words. I just hadn't read Dean's character in that manner.

                            Originally posted by Rosely
                            Now, let's just assume that Castiel is actually who he says he is, then we can assume that he's on the side of good.
                            Under that assumption in the antecedent (i.e., Castiel is angel of Yahweh), I wouldn't make the assumption in the consequent (i.e., that he's good).

                            Originally posted by Rosely
                            Maybe it'll turn out not to be, but for this moment we have no reason to believe otherwise.
                            Actually, I think there are reasons to believe that Supernatural-verse isn't compatible with the Bible-verse, which would indicate Castiel wasn't telling the truth.

                            However, I'd rather avoid that debate. Besides, fantasy shows aren't always consistent, so no big deal.
                            Last edited by EvilVampire; 12-10-08, 11:25 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              oh btw. I said: to Dean it's portrayed like this.

                              I didn't say that Dean actually takes Castiels word for it and believes he's good. But for the moment he has no real proof (other then the eye burning) that he's not. And I think the whole saving from the pit helps in the deal.

                              On the other hand he knows that those powers in Sam come from evil for 100% sure.

                              We'll have to see how it plays out.
                              Personally I'm very weary of the whole 'god' storyline.... I hope they don't get cheesy

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                                I'll just ask a question about "the real deal"?

                                What do you mean by that?

                                Castiel seems to be a powerful entity, yes.

                                He claims to be connected to Yahweh. There's no evidence of that, but in any case, I see no evidence that Castiel is any good.
                                With the real deal I simply meant that Castiel seems to be what he claims to be: an angel.

                                The factual evidence so far is: a) weapons designed to kill demons or other supernatural entities do not work on him, indicating an entity very old and/or rare b) research texts state that the only entities able to snatch someone from hell are angels c) the YED, an obviously very old and powerful entity himself, instantly recognised Dean's connection to angels

                                Nobody in this discussion said that they think Castiel is necessarily good. We all said that he is possibly not trustworthy and that it may come to a confrontation with him. The show made a point in 2.13 to explain angels as wrathful warriors, so there is no reason to believe that in the end they care any more about collateral damage amongst the humans than the demons.

                                Sam thinks angels are good, because he is a traditional believer. Dean doesn't trust Castiel or even thinks that angels (or God) are particularly good, when they allow suffering on earth (4.02). But he does believe Castiel when he stated that he wants to prevent Lucifer walk free and he does believe Castiel's threat against Sam. Should he research possibilites to eliminate Castiel? Possibly, if only to be able to prevent Castiel making a move against Sam. I am not sure if they have a clue where to start with that, but we are only 4 episodes in, so we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

                                Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                                Ok, you have a point there. Still, while the evidence seems to suggest that the powers are tempting, it's not so cut and dry.
                                There's rarely everything cut and dry in this show. It's a fact that none of the psychic kids were evil from the start. Andy, Ava, Scott, Jake, Lily, they all had access to the one power that manifested within them when they were around 22 and still all of them stayed sane and good. Max and Anseem were the only ones going off the deep end, but it's obvious that both of them were psychologically unstable even before the powers manifested, so they were inclined to use them for evil purposes. Similarly, Ava and Jake were under extreme emotional pressure when they opened themselves up to the powers and went evil in the process. On the other hand, yes, Andy didn't go evil, although he trained his powers and Sam obviously didn't go evil either yet.

                                Factual evidence so far does not allow us to make a 100% correct assumption about where using the powers lead in the end. We don't know exactly how they work or how they affect the psychic kids. All we know is that there is a very tangible threat to Sam when he uses his powers. Dean only sees this one threat, Sam only sees the possibilities, hence the argument between them. In my opinion, ignoring the powers is bad, but exploring the powers without caution and without knowing what they get themselves into is also bad. Sam was solely reliant on Ruby in this matter until this point and I don't consider that a good thing. In order to make an informed choice, Sam needs to consider every possible angle of his dilemma and he can only do that if he accesses every source of information.

                                Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                                I mean, if you're saying that demons aren't persons, you just seem to be using the word "person" to refer to other entities than the ones I refer to, since we do not disagree on the properties of demons (at least, there is no reason to think we do).

                                In other words, if I call them persons and you don't, what's the basis for telling who's right?
                                I use Dean's choice of words here. To simplify it, humans are persons, supernatural entities are not. Of course there are cases in which this distinction is questionable, like werewolves, vampires, rugarus or psychic kids, who are basically human but also have an inhuman 'component'. That's why these cases usually lead to morally complex dilemmas.

                                Demons on the other hand have been defined by the show as entirely inhuman. Even if they were once human, humanity has been completely stripped away from them. The may have distinct personalities, a set of mannerisms that allows us to differentiate them from each other, but they are not persons in the above mentioned sense. We have seen demons that do not seem to be all evil, like Casey in Sin City, but the majority of them have been clear cut evil.

                                Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                                Because they're going to be tortured indefinitely] unless they manage to escape?
                                Sorry, I am not founding a society for the humaine treatment of demons. I rather have them in hell, tortured, than on earth, wreaking havoc.

                                Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                                So, there's no good outcome to this and it seems like a moral dilemma to me, but given the choice, I think preventing indefinite torture (centuries, millennia, maybe more) takes priority, so the knife would be more humane, even if it kills the victims too.
                                So you say, that in order to spare a demon more torture, Sam and Dean should opt for killing an innocent person? Wow, that's ... radical. I don't think I have an adequat reply to that.

                                Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                                I thought he probably recognized her from the motel, but if he didn't, then you're right Dean may not believe that Sam is having sex with her, so obviously he's not going to blame Sam for that (regardless of whether or not Sam is having sex with her, which we'll have to wait and see to find out, I guess).
                                Dean specifically asks: Who is that? when he enters the room. So I doubt he recognised her. Besides, his eyes were glued to Sam in Lazarus Rising, I am not sure if he really paid any attention to her. Heck, even I didn't recognise her at once between the motel scene and the scene in the diner.

                                Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                                Which would prevent Lucifer from rising, if Castiel is telling the truth...why would he be so opposed to that?
                                He isn't opposed to stopping Lilith. Just because Ruby's and Dean's goals happen to overlap in this one instance, doesn't mean he should accept Ruby as an ally. Just because Ruby wants Lilith dead, doesn't mean she wants it for the same reasons as Dean. Assuming that Lilith's plans are different from the YED's plans, removing Lilith only so that Ruby can reestablish the YEDs goals wins them nothing.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by galathea View Post
                                  So you say, that in order to spare a demon more torture, Sam and Dean should opt for killing an innocent person? Wow, that's ... radical. I don't think I have an adequat reply to that.
                                  Agreed. That's a very radical opinion. Why should the existence of a demon matter more than the life of a human being? I think one of the main appeals for Sam to use his powers is that he manages to exorcise demons from innocent human beings without actually killing them, whereas if he used the knife, he would not only kill the demon but the innocent human being as well.

                                  Dean specifically asks: Who is that? when he enters the room. So I doubt he recognised her. Besides, his eyes were glued to Sam in Lazarus Rising, I am not sure if he really paid any attention to her. Heck, even I didn't recognise her at once between the motel scene and the scene in the diner.
                                  Actually, I interpreted that scene differently. I wouldn't rule out that Dean recognised Kristy/Ruby. When Dean asked "Who is that?", I think it could also mean that he realised a demon was possessing the body of Kristy and he wanted to know which kind of demon it was because he remembered seeing Kristy/Ruby at the motel room in "Lazarus Rising". Yes he only had eyes for Sam in that scene but that doesn't mean that a pretty girl such as Kirsty wouldn't have registered in Dean's mind, especially since Sam is not the kind of guy (such as Dean) who has many romantic/sexual interactions with the opposite sex. We just don't know at this point, so I guess this scene could be interpreted either way.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Cori View Post
                                    Actually, I interpreted that scene differently. I wouldn't rule out that Dean recognised Kristy/Ruby. When Dean asked "Who is that?", I think it could also mean that he realised a demon was possessing the body of Kristy and he wanted to know which kind of demon it was because he remembered seeing Kristy/Ruby at the motel room in "Lazarus Rising". Yes he only had eyes for Sam in that scene but that doesn't mean that a pretty girl such as Kirsty wouldn't have registered in Dean's mind, especially since Sam is not the kind of guy (such as Dean) who has many romantic/sexual interactions with the opposite sex. We just don't know at this point, so I guess this scene could be interpreted either way.
                                    True, it's not impossible that Dean recognised Kristy from the motel room, I just didn't see any sign of recognition in Dean's expression. Plus, if he had identified her as the woman from the motel, I would indeed expect Dean to address that in his discussion with Sam. In any case, I personally don't think that Ruby and Sam are in a sexual relationship. Their interaction doesn't show any sign of intimacy between them and Sam's character so far doesn't seem to be corrupted enough to forget the fact that Ruby violates an innocent person as well. I really hope though that we do get an explicit confimation on that point further down in the season.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Not really one for weighing into a raging discussion, especially when others have expressed themselves so clearly, but I do have these thoughts:-

                                      EvilVampire, imagine that a brother, sister, father, mother or someone else you really care for and love has got involved with a friend that is encouraging them to drink heavily every night and has been lying to you about it. Let's also say that you were told this information by someone you didn't like or didn't trust that they had your welfare in mind. Would you ignore it even though you've had a sneaking suspicion all along, just because the information came from an untrustworthy soruce? Surely, you would be concerned for their welfare, no? An alcoholic drink once in a while wouldn't do anyone much harm, but drinking heavily could lead to alcoholism and health problems down the line.

                                      What Sam is doing may not be dangerous at the moment but it could be very addictive and cause problems/danger later on. Sam would have difficulty knowing when to stop. If you can, watch the scene where Sam is interrogating the demon again. The demon basically pisses Sam off and Sam's anger is what causes him to exorcise the demon from the human host. If Sam is using his powers only for good, then why didn't he try to get more information before exorcising him? If Sam can be forced into using his powers so easily by a demon just pushing the right buttons, how long will it be before he needs even less of an excuse? How long will it be before he needs to use his powers for something other than just exorcising? That's the slippery slope right there, if you ask me. Add to that that he expressly told Dean that he wasn't doing it because it was practically his dying wish, yeah I can understand that Dean is pissed and worried. Also, Dean doesn't need to trust or believe what Castiel has told him because he saw it with his own eyes.

                                      I can see where you're coming from regarding why the boys shouldn't treat Castiel differently from any other thing possessing a person, but as it stands at the moment they have no reason not to trust him. He hasn't done anything that would give them cause to think he is evil. Even though the possessing of the human is worrying to them and to us the audience, they are willing for the moment, to overlook it until they have more information. Which is a wise move in my eyes.

                                      I'm also not convinced that Sam is sleeping with Ruby. The "slutting around" comment was deliberately vague enough to mean both sleeping with her and hiding what he is doing whilst in her company.

                                      Anyway, I wanted to say quickly that I too enjoyed this episode greatly. I don't think it tops last weeks for excitement but as you've all said, the brotherly goodness was a joy to see. I do wish the parallels to Sam's situation weren't as obvious, as this show is usually so clever at being subtle in it's parallels, but it's a minor quibble really.

                                      What kind of message are we to take from it though, I wonder? Are we to think that as no-one could stop Jack into turning into an evil thing, then Sam can't be stopped either? Or are we to presume that it was only the interferrance of Travis that pushed Jack over the edge, and Sam n Dean's chat would've stopped it, therefore there is hope for Sam?

                                      I don't really believe that this can be the end of Sam using his powers. Maybe for now this event has shocked him into stopping, but surely the set-up for this season has been that later on there will be a showdown between the brothers over this use of power. Whether Sam can be stopped, I think depends on two things - what Ruby's/Azazeal's/Lillith's/Castiel's plans are, and the show getting a 5th season. If the show doesn't get renewed again, I worry for Sam's safety in the series finale, but then I'm pessimistic that way!

                                      It's an interesting twist that both Sam and Dean have a guide now, whereas they used to have one another. These guides are pulling the boys away from each other. No-one can be sure whether these guides have anything but their own interests at heart, and that can't bode well for the boys - either of them - and that really concerns me. The direction this season is going is difficult for me to see, but it's certainly very exciting. Bring it on!
                                      Last edited by ciderdrinker; 12-10-08, 09:12 PM.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        With the real deal I simply meant that Castiel seems to be what he claims to be: an angel.
                                        You mean, a Biblical angel?
                                        I think this was discussed already, but this is an on-line debate, so here goes:
                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        The factual evidence so far is: a) weapons designed to kill demons or other supernatural entities do not work on him, indicating an entity very old and/or rare b) research texts state that the only entities able to snatch someone from hell are angels c) the YED, an obviously very old and powerful entity himself, instantly recognised Dean's connection to angels
                                        a) Old and rare, perhaps. At least rare. But that still doesn't suggest any connection to Yahweh.

                                        b) Evidence?

                                        1) What research?

                                        Entities capable of this hadn't been encountered by any hunters before, so I guess they're talking about religious books that say that angels can take people out of Hell?

                                        2) Those books, as far as I know, don't say that angels are the only entities capable of it. If they do, where would they get their evidence from?

                                        3) The SN-verse (including Hell) does not seem to match the Biblical story.

                                        c)

                                        1) The Azazeal evidence is only as strong as Castiel word - since he's the one who put Dean in "the real past" -, and we had his word already, so this adds nothing.

                                        2) In any case, we still would not know what kind of entity an angel is, since "Azazeal" didn't make a connection with Biblical angels.

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Nobody in this discussion said that they think Castiel is necessarily good. We all said that he is possibly not trustworthy and that it may come to a confrontation with him.
                                        Alright, but I was talking about Dean's motivation for his actions. I just hadn't read the character like that.

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        The show made a point in 2.13 to explain angels as wrathful warriors, so there is no reason to believe that in the end they care any more about collateral damage amongst the humans than the demons.
                                        Yes, they made another reference to Biblical angels.

                                        If we identify Castiel as one of those (overlooking inconsistencies between the SN-verse and the Bible-verse), then I'd say they're evil, others will say otherwise, etc. I already said that Dean may be thinking they're good, which would explain his actions if he believes Castiel is one of them.

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Sam thinks angels are good, because he is a traditional believer.
                                        There are many different traditions, but that's a good point if Sam associates Castiel with (Sam's own interpretation) of the Bible and he's a Christian.

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Dean doesn't trust Castiel or even thinks that angels (or God) are particularly good, when they allow suffering on earth (4.02).
                                        He seems to have forgotten far more suffering in Hell, but you're right about his position in 4.02, which is part of what surprised me about his actions in 4.04.

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        But he does believe Castiel when he stated that he wants to prevent Lucifer walk free and he does believe Castiel's threat against Sam.
                                        The threat is credible, though it also suggest they might fear Sam a little.

                                        The part about Lucifer doesn't have much evidentiary support for now (and it's not clear what this Lucifer's agenda is).

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Should he research possibilites to eliminate Castiel? Possibly, if only to be able to prevent Castiel making a move against Sam. I am not sure if they have a clue where to start with that, but we are only 4 episodes in, so we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.
                                        They probably don't have any books, or anything like that. The fact that Castiel seems to prefer to avoid a confrontation with Sam might indicate that, perhaps, Sam has the power to fight him.
                                        Other than that, there's the colt, but there's no way of knowing before testing it.

                                        So, maybe the best bet is to interrogate some demons and try to figure out how they killed the angels if Castiel was telling the truth (if demons want him dead, they'll tell the truth if they know how to do it); if he was lying, that's a bit of a problem.

                                        However, I'm not saying Dean has a good shot at finding any way of killing Castiel. I'm saying I would have expected him to try, and tell Sam they had to find a way, etc.

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Factual evidence so far does not allow us to make a 100% correct assumption about where using the powers lead in the end. We don't know exactly how they work or how they affect the psychic kids. All we know is that there is a very tangible threat to Sam when he uses his powers. Dean only sees this one threat, Sam only sees the possibilities, hence the argument between them.
                                        Ok, if that's what the argument is about, I get. It's just not the impression I got. As I mentioned, my impression is that Dean was buying what Castiel was saying, even if not all at once. But you may be correct. We'll see about that in later episodes.

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        In my opinion, ignoring the powers is bad, but exploring the powers without caution and without knowing what they get themselves into is also bad.
                                        I agree they're both dangerous courses of action.
                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Sam was solely reliant on Ruby in this matter until this point and I don't consider that a good thing. In order to make an informed choice, Sam needs to consider every possible angle of his dilemma and he can only do that if he accesses every source of information.
                                        Yes, but he doesn't have anyone else to rely on. Dean won't help him, other hunters are dangerous, so he has nothing left.

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        I use Dean's choice of words here. To simplify it, humans are persons, supernatural entities are not.
                                        I don't recall when he said that, but the question is: what kind of claim is that?
                                        In other words, to say "humans are persons, supernatural entities are not" may tell us something about the use of a word, but not much about their actions...not to mention the fact that it's not clear what he counts as "supernatural" entities.

                                        Still, I'm not sure Dean would have used it in that manner always. For instance, would he say he wasn't a person for 4 months when he was in Hell? Would he say that John, when he came back from Hell, was not a person? Would he say that Sam is not a person?

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Of course there are cases in which this distinction is questionable, like werewolves, vampires, rugarus or psychic kids, who are basically human but also have an inhuman 'component'. That's why these cases usually lead to morally complex dilemmas.
                                        Also, that would seem to identify "person" with "human"...but then again, there's also the cases of spirits (in Hell, on Earth, wherever they are) including demons, etc...and angels were never human, if we go by the Bible...it seems to me that the whole distinction is questionable at best.

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Demons on the other hand have been defined by the show as entirely inhuman. Even if they were once human, humanity has been completely stripped away from them. The may have distinct personalities, a set of mannerisms that allows us to differentiate them from each other, but they are not persons in the above mentioned sense.
                                        That again seems to identify "person" with "human", but then again, spirits are not human (they aren't even biological), yet they're usually called "person".

                                        If biology is not the basis for the distinction, then what is it?

                                        Consciousness?

                                        If so, demons and angels (and chimps) are conscious too.

                                        Distinct personalities, mannerisms?

                                        Again, demons have them, and probably angels too (and chimps).

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        We have seen demons that do not seem to be all evil, like Casey in Sin City, but the majority of them have been clear cut evil.
                                        Most of them seem to be bad, yes - after centuries of torture, they adapted and became pretty bad, I guess. The psychos who hunted and killed humans because it was fun were pretty bad too. The majority of ghosts seem to be pretty bad as well, and also the majority of vampires, and (if we go by their research) of rugarus and werewolves.

                                        I'm still not sure what point you're trying to make here, though...if there are entities that Dean calls "person" and others that he doesn't, what does that have to do with the issue of sending them to Hell? Unless "person" is not just a non-valued description but hides a moral judgment...

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Sorry, I am not founding a society for the humaine treatment of demons. I rather have them in hell, tortured, than on earth, wreaking havoc.
                                        I rather wouldn't have those tortured people (or whatever you prefer to call them the demons) being tortured for a few more centuries only to get out and torture others, or perhaps tortured for eternity.

                                        Still, it was an incidental point when talking about Dean behavior, pointing out that that was not the reason he blames Sam.

                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        So you say, that in order to spare a demon more torture, Sam and Dean should opt for killing an innocent person? Wow, that's ... radical. I don't think I have an adequat reply to that.
                                        Demonizing much? Now you seem to be packing the moral judgment in the word "person". What's a person, and why is a demon not one?

                                        That aside, I'm not talking about killing random people.

                                        I'm saying that if the choice is between killing one person who went bad after so much torture (i.e., the demon), and as a result killing also the victim of that person, or subjecting the former person to infinite torture, then yes, I would rather choose the former.

                                        If, on the other hand, the torture won't be infinite because they'll escape, then they're almost certainly going to make even more people suffer, by possessing them (which is also a form of torture) and in some cases sending them to hell.

                                        It's a tough situation, kind of being between a rock and a hard place, and Dean and Sam chose the other alternative.

                                        I'll give more details on this matter later, in my reply to Cori's question.
                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Dean specifically asks: Who is that? when he enters the room. So I doubt he recognised her.
                                        I don't think that's an indication. The question seems fitting whether he recognized her or not.
                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Besides, his eyes were glued to Sam in Lazarus Rising, I am not sure if he really paid any attention to her. Heck, even I didn't recognise her at once between the motel scene and the scene in the diner.
                                        Yes, that's possible. We'll have to wait and perhaps they'll make that clear.
                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        He isn't opposed to stopping Lilith. Just because Ruby's and Dean's goals happen to overlap in this one instance, doesn't mean he should accept Ruby as an ally. Just because Ruby wants Lilith dead, doesn't mean she wants it for the same reasons as Dean.
                                        The reasons need not be the same, but the result is: Lilith dies.
                                        Originally posted by galathea
                                        Assuming that Lilith's plans are different from the YED's plans, removing Lilith only so that Ruby can reestablish the YEDs goals wins them nothing.
                                        That would assume that Ruby knows Azazeal's plans and has the power to carry them out even though she's not nearly as powerful as Azazeal...big assumptions, but still, in that case, it seems better to wait for her to get rid of Lilith, and then get rid of Ruby.

                                        Originally posted by Cori
                                        Agreed. That's a very radical opinion. Why should the existence of a demon matter more than the life of a human being?
                                        What's a human being?

                                        I mean, is that a claim about biology?

                                        If so, are spirits not human beings?

                                        Was Dean not a human being in Hell?

                                        If not, then what kind of a claim is it, and why are demons not human beings?

                                        If it's just the fact that you do not use "human being" to refer to demons, ok, that seems to be true but then, what does the choice of words have to do with what matters? (matters to whom, by the way?) In my view, you seem to be packing the moral judgment in the words "demon" and "human being"

                                        In any case, let me explain how I see it:

                                        Let's say a person is thrown in Hell, a place where she is tortured constantly. After centuries of excruciating pain and torment, she manages to escape but - alas - she lost it. She's a bad person, possibly but not necessarily a psychopath, but in any case, she wants to feel, to be in a body again.

                                        So, she takes a body of someone else, despite the fact that that creates another victim - the possessed person also is suffering torture. Additionally, if she went psycho, she makes other people suffer for the sake of it.

                                        Now, the choice is between knife and exorcism:

                                        1) The knife kills the person who was tortured for centuries (i.e., she ceases to exist, as far as we know); also, it "kills", the other person, her victim (though the latter does not actually cease to exist, as far as I know, since the knife was design to kill demons and would probably have no effect on flesh-and-blood humans, other than that of any knife).

                                        2) With exorcism, there's a chance that the flesh-and-blood person will remain in flesh and blood, but exorcism sends the victim of centuries of torture to be further tortured, and there are some possibilities here too:

                                        a) She will be tortured forever.

                                        b) She will escape and torture more people.

                                        c) Eventually, someone will find a way to destroy Hell and save the people there, or at least kill them.

                                        d) Someone will rescue her from Hell, and bring her back to her physical body, or kill her, or send her somewhere else.

                                        Of the previous alternatives 2) c) is the best in my view, followed distantly by 2) d), but their probability is so low that we can't count on them.

                                        The remaining ones are pretty bad. All three of them, so it's a dilemma: a choice between pretty bad alternatives.

                                        From my perspective, 1) to be is the least bad options so to speak. On the other hand, Sam and Dean prefer 2).

                                        Originally posted by Cori
                                        I think one of the main appeals for Sam to use his powers is that he manages to exorcise demons from innocent human beings without actually killing them, whereas if he used the knife, he would not only kill the demon but the innocent human being as well.
                                        While I make the same observation about the choice of words ("human being" and "demon") as before, I actually agree that that's one of Sam's main motivations. I wasn't suggesting that he sees this issue the way I do. He certainly does not.
                                        Originally posted by Cori
                                        Actually, I interpreted that scene differently. I wouldn't rule out that Dean recognised Kristy/Ruby. When Dean asked "Who is that?", I think it could also mean that he realised a demon was possessing the body of Kristy and he wanted to know which kind of demon it was because he remembered seeing Kristy/Ruby at the motel room in "Lazarus Rising". Yes he only had eyes for Sam in that scene but that doesn't mean that a pretty girl such as Kirsty wouldn't have registered in Dean's mind, especially since Sam is not the kind of guy (such as Dean) who has many romantic/sexual interactions with the opposite sex. We just don't know at this point, so I guess this scene could be interpreted either way.
                                        Yes, that's a possible interpretation too. I'm not sure we'll ever find out.

                                        Originally posted by ciderdrinker
                                        Not really one for weighing into a raging discussion, especially when others have expressed themselves so clearly, but I do have these thoughts:-
                                        Lucky you. I got caught in a debate I wasn't expecting.
                                        Oh, well...
                                        Originally posted by ciderdrinker
                                        EvilVampire, imagine that a brother, sister, father, mother or someone else you really care for and love has got involved with a friend that is encouraging them to drink heavily every night and has been lying to you about it. You would be concerned for their welfare, no? An alcoholic drink once in a while wouldn't do anyone much harm, but drinking heavily could lead to alcoholism and health problems down the line.
                                        Yes, I would be concerned.

                                        Originally posted by ciderdrinker
                                        What Sam is doing may not be dangerous at the moment but it could be very addictive and cause problems/danger later on. Sam would have difficulty knowing when to stop. If you can, watch the scene where Sam is interrogating the demon again. The demon basically pisses Sam off and Sam's anger is what causes him to exorcise the demon from the human host. If Sam can be forced into using his powers so easily by a demon just pushing the right buttons, how long will it be before he needs even less of an excuse?
                                        First, Sam didn't do that because of his powers, as far as we know. They tend to get pissed when taunted so much, powers or not. I think he'd have done the same if he'd have to use another weapon.

                                        Second, we don't know that the powers work similarly to alcohol or other drugs.

                                        Third, the people I care about are not in the middle of a war, and if they were, alcoholism would not help.

                                        In short, I don't find the situation similar in the relevant way.

                                        Originally posted by ciderdrinker
                                        I can see where you're coming from regarding why the boys shouldn't treat Castiel differently from any other thing possessing a person, but as it stands at the moment they have no reason not to trust him.
                                        I don't agree with that (see above), but I don't want to get into that all over again.


                                        Originally posted by ciderdrinker
                                        I'm also not convinced that Sam is sleeping with Ruby. The "slutting around" comment was deliberately vague enough to mean both sleeping with her and hiding what he is doing whilst in her company.
                                        I'm not saying I'm convinced, though it's not far-fetched in my view. I think that that could go either way (though the demon's words sounded like a reference to sex to me).
                                        Last edited by EvilVampire; 12-10-08, 11:38 PM.

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