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[Thoughts on "The Purge" below the cut...]

My instant response on Twitter was, "Well, that's not going to result in several violent eruptions of Mt. Fandom or anything." So I might be poking the volcano here, but...

I want to go back to my second response to 9.02. I pointed out the three times Sam had done the "right thing" and it bit him in the ass: not shooting YED!John, letting Jake live, and not sacrificing Nancy. Then he was willing to try anything to save Dean (Time is on My Side), and later, anything to avenge him. Eventually, that led to the Apocalypse and Sam saying yes to Lucifer, and tortures in Hell that we still don't know the full extent of. At this point in time, given the past decisions Sam has made and how they've turned out for all involved, he seems to have learned that the cost of saving the one you love can sometimes be too high. So that's one reason I understand his pronouncement that he wouldn't do to/for Dean what Dean had done to/for him.

(Of course, Dean's deal to save Sam also led to the Apocalypse. But just as Sam observed in this episode, Dean did it for himself, not for Sam. (Although I think it's fair to say that both of them bore the brunt of that sacrifice, if in different ways.) And Dean did let Sam go once (the "overgrown man" conversation). As agelade just wrote, that's probably why Dean can't let him go again. But I also think that it was about Dean feeling that Sam needed to atone for what he had done, which was not the case in the church or in 9.01.)

There's another really important thing to keep in mind here. There's been a lot of talk about the many different ways Sam's body has been violated without or against his consent: YED in the crib, possession by Meg, hunters holding him down to force demon blood on him, the body swap with Gary, all the things soulless!Sam did, Hallucifer's very obvious hints about rape in Hell, etc. And then the final blow: Gadreel and Crowley, both at the hands of the person Sam had trusted most for all of his life. If the question Dean asked of Sam at the end of this ep was, "If the situation was reversed, would you do the same thing?", can you blame Sam for saying that under the same circumstances, he wouldn't force yet another bodily violation on his brother? That's the piece that Dean is still missing or not understanding, and as long as the show refuses to give us Sam's perspective on S9, I don't think that he'll get it.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 5th, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
I just said something similar to a friend, although not near as eloquent or well thought out. *g*
Feb. 6th, 2014 10:00 am (UTC)
There're far more eloquent takes on it elsewhere, but thank you. :)
Feb. 5th, 2014 03:08 pm (UTC)
You articulate very well much of what I've wanted to say in reaction to the reactions I've read to this episode (I plan to do a strange thing and put my own meta post together later this evening) primarily the ones that call for Sam's single-handed dismemberment in being the greatest asshole in the history of the show. Cause, errrrm... no, not really. In my opinion, he's finally moving to a coherent characterization again after the shitstorm-ooc-ness for early season 8. And I definitely get how this particular conversation did and needed to go the way it went and I think it was necessary to get the boys on the road to recovery and mend for their fractured relationship.
Feb. 6th, 2014 10:01 am (UTC)
Can't wait to read your piece! And yes, this had to come out the way it did...but I'm not sure what it's going to take for Dean to understand where Sam is coming from. :(
Feb. 5th, 2014 03:41 pm (UTC)
This is pretty much what I was thinking, but you were actually able to articulate it, where I was not! Thanks for that.
Feb. 6th, 2014 10:01 am (UTC)
Glad I could help! :)
Feb. 5th, 2014 05:26 pm (UTC)
Yes to this (now if you'll excuse me I'm just gonna bury my head in Valentine's Day fluff fic)
Feb. 6th, 2014 10:01 am (UTC)
Feb. 5th, 2014 05:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, this.
Feb. 6th, 2014 10:01 am (UTC)
Glad to know there are others of like mind. :)
Feb. 5th, 2014 09:03 pm (UTC)
Very good points. I'm really hoping this arc leads to both of them understanding why the other makes the decisions they do. *hugs*
Feb. 6th, 2014 10:02 am (UTC)
Wouldn't that be awesome? I have my fingers crossed. *hugs back*
Feb. 6th, 2014 01:02 am (UTC)
Yes, absolutely! Terrific insights regarding both boys, especially the extent of the violations Sam has suffered. :(. I am dying to hear more from Sam, and to have them both just...listen, hear, forgive... Well, I guess it may be awhile, and I suspect Sam may find himself with roles reversed before it's over. I really thought he meant he loved Dean so much he'd let him go if that's what Dean wanted, but do you do that when your loved one is at their lowest ebb? Dean was at a terrible place when he agreed to take on the Mark of Cain, but so was Sam by the end of the trials. Remember how he was the one with hope at the beginning of that process?

It's going to be hard to wait for all this to play out! -bites nails-
Feb. 6th, 2014 10:07 am (UTC)
Something I thought of after I made the post is that I think losing Sarah Blake the way they did took a lot out of Sam. All of their past rescues, but especially her. I think part of his "why am I alive?" is really, "why am I alive when so many other people are dead because of me?", and that's where his hope went.
Feb. 6th, 2014 12:10 pm (UTC)
That is an excellent point. All those losses -- especially Sarah -- and the physical wreckage of whatever process was killing him during the trials... Also, right as Sam went in to confess, Dean said some pretty hurtful stuff, all wrong. I remember going, "Jeez, Dean, don't say that!" kind of like I'm going "Jeez, Sam!" now.

The writers do know how to keep this interesting, don't they? Meanwhile, the fans need appointments with their therapists due to the trauma. Ha. Kidding. Maybe.

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )