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The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time

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Sam in Season 8

Kinda of spoilery discussion about The Brotherly Bond (mostly about Sam) in season 8 so I'll put this behind a read more.

I haven't read too many recent spoilers but these bits From the Laura Prudhom interview with Carver and Singer are really worth a close read because I think they say a lot about the direction they're taking Supernatural and the Brothers Winchester in season 8.

"The Brotherly Bond
Ever since the show's panel at Comic-Con, there has been much speculation about the status of Sam and Dean's relationship, especially given the cast and Carver's revelations that Sam chose not to look for Dean after he and Castiel disappeared in the Season 7 finale. The revelation wasn't a misdirect, and as Jared Padalecki stated at Comic-Con, Sam has seemingly been living a normal life for the past year in the wake of Dean's disappearance.

While it seems inevitable that some fans may take umbrage at this, I would say that despite Dean's initial reaction to that revelation, it's also readily apparent that the brothers still love each other, and that the dispute is no more damaging to their relationship than any of the other trials and tribulations they've been through thus far (and certainly less damaging than Sam's demon blood addiction in earlier seasons, which brought the pair to blows). Carver has always had an enviable grasp of the Winchesters' brotherly banter and the wordless understanding that close siblings share, and though there are secrets that both brothers (especially Dean) are keeping from each other in the premiere, there are also moments of levity, and some nuanced and effective beats where the duo demonstrate their care for each other in simple ways, even if they're still not exactly vocal about their emotions or state of mind.

Carver goes into greater detail about his motivations for how they positioned Sam this season in the Q&A below, and though Dean seems to have righteous indignation on his side in the premiere, it looks like that balance of power might shift in later episodes as more of his own secrets and decisions are revealed.

On how the writers came to the decision that Sam hadn't looked for Dean in Purgatory, and how long Dean will be guilt-tripping Sam for it.
Carver: I think we wanted to look at this from ... the jumping off point. Certainly, when I came back to the show, I was staring at a landscape which was laid out by Bob and Sera, [what they] gracefully gave me, and to pick it up was [Crowley's line], "You are truly alone." So we really went into the idea of, "What does that mean? What kind of impact does that have on somebody, and how might that affect your mindset?" We talk about it in Episode 1. Dean talks about it: “We always ignored the advice we gave to each other” and what happens if someone actually took it? [As for] how long Sam is made to pay for this ... I think one of the things we really like about particularly the first 13 is the way we’re playing with perception because right now, Dean is piling on Sam somewhat for this, and so what happens is these brothers start to discover more about what they’ve done in their past year and might those tables turn in terms of who has to answer for what? So I think ... everyone will get their licks in. No one’s going to be a beaten dog for too long.

On why Sam decided not to look for Dean this time around when they've made similar promises and ignored them before:

Singer: I think this is the first time that he was, as Crowley says to him, well and truly alone, because he has nobody. He has no Dean. Kevin’s gone. No anybody. I don’t think he knew what he wanted to do and then he hit a dog. And that started something new for him and then exposed him to something that he had never been exposed to because even back in college there was always family. Now he had nothing ... So I think he got a taste of something he’d never had before and it had a really profound effect on him, one that he doesn’t really expect Dean to understand nor does Dean expect Sam to understand what he went through, so much to the extent that he’s keeping a secret about how he got out, who he got out with. So while Sam’s trying to be really forthcoming and say, “My mindset is different,” Dean is being really less than forthcoming, and the fact that he’s judgmental is probably not all that fair to say, given what Dean’s not saying."

samameliaI'm glad on one hand that the brothers still loving each other is the bedrock of the show, even Dean hiding things from Sam isn't surprising or out of character.  But Sam not looking for Dean OR Kevin at all is still unbelievable to me.  I haven't read any explanations that have really gotten me close to believing that after all that Sam's gone through to stay with or save Dean.  You know it already of course: (attempted to sell his soul to a crossroads demon, willing to kill his surrogate father in Mystery Spot, taking on demon blood and Lilith, saying yes to Lucifer and jumping into the Cage, taking on his Hell memories so as to "not leave his brother out there.", working with Dean across time to bring him back to the present.)  It's a pretty long and impressive and overwhelming list.  So I'm supposed to believe that the person who did all that is just going to turn around and walk out of that goo-splattered lab, get in the Impala and drive off into the sunset without a backward glance?  Because he's too tired and just doesn't know what to do?  Sam has proven over and over again that he'll do absolutely anything for Dean.  So what changed in Sam's deep-down heart and character just because Dean blinked out of existence?

When Carver talks about a promise they made to not look for each other, I'm not sure who he's talking about, that's all they ever do on this show.  That's like a shorthand way to talk about their lives.  This is too crucial of an issue to just hand-wave or retcon away.  And it bugs me because I actually like the Sam hits a dog and ends up living with Amelia the vet versus Dean surviving in Purgatory competing stories.  But not with this major disconnect to get from point A to point B.  I'm not feeling hopeful that they'll ever explain this to my satisfaction.  And I wonder how realistic it will be when Dean eventually forgives him.  If it is all based on Dean's guilt for keeping Benny a secret then all that vaunted character growth and maturity Dean has finally achieved will be out the window.

So they're still not convincing me that Sam had no one or nothing.  He had a recently renewed bond with his brother, he had a to-do list about the still existing Leviathans, he had an obligation to try and rescue Kevin.  Of course Sam would be devastated and severely off-balance because Dean had disappeared along with Dick Roman and Cas, but he would not have assumed that Dean was dead.  The spell they had searched out the ingredients for was
to return something to Purgatory, not to kill something that came from Purgatory.  Why would he have assumed anything other than Dean being in Purgatory?
Sam still had lots of resources to work with, Bobby's library, his own amazing research skills we've heard about for 7 seasons, his laptop and he had his home back (The Impala).  There were people he still had to call on for help, Garth (who would likely know of other hunters), Charlie, even Sheriff Mills.  Any and all of them would have jumped in to help find Dean and/or Kevin.  He could have even contacted Death, or the Alpha Vamp, summoned Crowley or another demon.

My speculation about the season: I think based on previous season's spoilers being intentionally misleading to hide a big story twist, the spoilers I've read and the first episode that Sam is also hiding something, and not just the fact that he had a dog in the Impala or a woman in his bed.  The something that he's hiding is that he did in fact look for Dean, that he of course knew Dean was in Purgatory and made a deal of some kind to get him out.  I think that he made a deal with the Alphavamp (maybe to get rid of the remaining Leviathans since it affects their food supply) who then got the Purgatory escape info to Benny via their psychic connection.  That's why Benny was lurking outside Sam's house, because he'd contacted Sam to tell him that he and Dean were out.  That's why Sam showed up at the cabin without getting a call from Dean.  That's why he really didn't seem that surprised that Dean was there.  And if I'm right about anything in the preceding paragraph pleaseohplease make it that Sam did at least try to rescue Dean.

Looking forward to tonight's show!
Will we hear the name of Sam's dog?  
Will Dean make Sam clean out the Impala to get the dog smell out?  
Will we see Dean drink more than one beer?
Will Sam charge his cellphone?
Will Kevin get to drive the Impala?
Will Kevin make Sam and Dean buy their own supersoakers?

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Oh!! I like your speculation! I'm of similar mindset that Sam had to have done something or had an actual breakdown or maybe legit thought Dean was dead and figured they'd wind up in the same place when Sam died anyway

I also noticed the lack of alcohol for Dean. I'm not sure if that will continue through tonight's episode, but Purgatory might've been a detox?

Will Kevin make Sam and Dean buy their own supersoakers?
ROFL --- I want crack!fic now. :D :D

A Sam breakdown would be legit too, you're right, but we've got to actually see it. I personally just don't think Sam would have thought Dean was dead, but yeah, they both know they're going to Winchesterland together at some point.

No alcohol at all in 8.02 I think, Purgatory was pure and works as a detox, who knew. It turns you into Gordon!Dean but oh well.

Alas no supersoakers in this ep, but I'm not giving up on hoping for them at some point. I'm surprised no one has written crackfic already, maybe that should be my first attempt at a crackfic story.

You've hit on my major issue with this season - Sam didn't try to get Dean out, and I just... I don't believe it. Unless - and only unless - he had some sort of breakdown (which is both possible and believeable, given his mental state at hitting the dog, I understand he would be upset, but that was beyond normal even for him) , I don't believe for one second that he didn't make some sort of deal or exhaust all resources before throwing in the towel.

And if he didn't try? Well... I don't even know. I'm trying so hard to hold out on judgement.

It really is a major issue, and I'm right there with you not believing it. A breakdown is a possibility, definitely, but they've got to show us otherwise, I'm not buying it. The Sam we know would try anything and everything.
But yeah, if Sam just plain didn't try anything at all, then I don't know what to think or whether I want to bother with a show that doesn't make sense to me any more. So that's why I'm trying so hard to come up with as many alternative theories as I possibly can!

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