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The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time

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Season 9 Episode 1 Reaction

Best season opener since season 4. I'm so excited for season 9 now, so many possibilities...

From the very beginning, the new title card with burning angel wings and the wonderful opening montage song, "Who Do You Love?", just perfect.
Sam accepts he is dying

Sam starts out not even believing he's dying. (I loved the shifting strange camera angles to represent his coma state.) Then once he does, he's mad, "The whole point of me doing the third trial was NOT to die."
Then he kind of talks himself into it being okay to let himself die (with a big assist from Sam'sHeadBobby which was perfect). I loved seeing Sam talk to himself in all these different ways, through his versions of Dean and Bobby.
The will to live vs. the impulse to let go of the burdens of living.

 Sam is still in the state we saw him in the church.. He hasn't had time to fully internalize and process what Dean's words meant, what stopping the trial just because Dean asked him to meant.  He's still in the state of "I've let Dean down so many times, I can't do it again." Which makes it really easy to hop skip and jump right over to "He'd be better off without me. It'll be hard, but he'll be okay without me." He even had to try and comfort his internal version of Dean with the handpat to the face. (As if that would ever be enough!)
And then he demands of Death to make sure that no one can deal or bring him back. Because he knows so very deeply that Dean will not let this happen. He knows that Dean is not going to be okay with him dying, witness his version of Dean punching him to get that point across.Sam was trying to make sure that Dean wouldn't get hurt again in the process of saving him.

death sees sams decisionIn that final scene when Dean/Ezekiel appear in Sam's mind, the moment Death sees him, he knows what's up, no wonder he wanted to be there to witness this whole thing go down. Dean's "there aint not me without you." is heart-breaking, and what Sam's pretty much always wanted to hear said out loud and there it is finally.(But he's not gonna remember it, ahhhhh!)

deans plea to sam to keep living" The promise that I made you in that church, you and me, come whatever." Dean's in this with you until the end Sam, and the end isn't now because Dean says so. I think a big part of Dean's desperation when he sees inside of Sam's head is that he knows he's responsible for a lot of what Sam's feeling, since Sam's confession in the church to him, he knows he screwed up in communicating with his brother that he's the most important thing in the world to him. 
sam hears deans plea
Sam's "what do I do?" question to Dean is so sad, you can see how torn he is, because he's come to terms with Death, he's ready to step away, and Dean's there in front of him, asking him to live for Dean. How could Sam possibly say no? I do wonder what would have happened if Dean had tried to explain it to Sam, if Sam would have said yes just because Dean was asking him to. I kind of think he would have, given the alternative and seeing how much Dean wanted and needed him to keep living.
deans relief
I loved the moment when Sam says yes, the instant relief that floods Dean's face and relaxes his whole body is a beautiful thing, and then Ezekiel steps forward and goes into Sam.

Dean will always have the memory of seeing his brother sitting there with Death himself discussing the terms of him dying. Sam will never recall that conversation because Ezekiel wiped his memory. But Dean will have to bear that burden, not only of the secret, but of how he went against Sam's decision to die, just because he says it isn't Sam's time yet. He's going to spend the rest of the season building Sam up to the point where Sam will see his life as worth living again, Dean's going to have to demonstrate to Sam how much and why he wants Sam around. He's going to have to live the words and the promise he made to Sam in the church. And Sam isn't going to know why he's doing it. The last thing he said to Sam in the car when he woke up was our first taste of that,, "after seeing what you did back in that church, you can do anything." 

What a burden Dean has taken on here. That's his storyline I guess, keeping this enormous secret from his closest companion, his soulmate. Because if he fails in lying convincingly enough, then Sam will likely kick Ezekiel out and die. He's also taken on a huge risk, that Ezekiel was being honest, given their past track-record with angels. But what other choice did he really have? He couldn't just let Sam die, he had no time to bargain or research or anything else, just what Ezekiel was offering. I don't think he'll ever really regret it, no matter what happens. But it will be interesting to see how he struggles to keep the secret and figure out how the hell to tell Sam.

What will happen once Sam finds out what Dean did to save him? Of course he'll be beyond angry. But I think he will understand. How can he not? Because he would have done the same thing if their positions were reversed. I didn't think their co-dependency issues could run any deeper and then I'm pleasantly surprised.  I loved how messed-up it is, endlessly fascinating and terribly moving. I was in tears at the thought of Sam choosing to die because he still didn't get how much Dean still loves and needs him, and Dean making this terrible choice on his behalf, just like he did in season 6 and season 2. 

ezekielDo you trust Ezekiel? I kind of do.At least so far. Hopefully he won't turn out to be just another "dick with wings".I think I trust him because of the way he initially approached Dean, and how it was a mutually beneficial thing that he needed to heal himself because he'd protected Dean from the other angel.His hesitation to even suggestion it as an option seemed genuinely hesitant. Plus Cas seemed to like him, so there's that. I loved how Jared portrayed Ezekiel, that was some brilliant acting, my whole family was talking about that for quite a while. Very impressive! It's going to be interesting to see how they play with showing Ezekiel within Sam.

Other Items:
  • It was awesome to see Bobby in this way, as Sam's manifestation of self-worth, causing him to take pride in what he's accomplished in the world. It's good to see Sam does really have at least some self-esteem left!
  • Crowley thumping in the trunk just cracked me up.
  • The parts with Cas and Hael were good, I liked her a lot, and I loved her line "Do you even know how ridiculous you sound?" It was distracting and a little annoying jumping between the heartbreak and pathos of what Sam and Dean were going through to see Cas bumbling around. Shades of things to come I suppose. I liked that his first impulse was to try and help the angels that wanted help. But Dean is probably right in advising against that.

This entry was originally posted at http://smalltrolven.dreamwidth.org/40898.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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I was kind of mad when this episode was over, but reading your recap and analysis, it made me considered it in a different light.

Thank you. I'll watch it again, I think.

I enjoyed reading your thoughts very much.

One thing that really made this episode for me was that at the end, Dean still leaves, "or I'll find a way to tell him" as an option. Because I think that the angel consent would not work, metaphysically speaking, unless Sam actually was giving Dean his proxy for consent—which means I agree, I think Sam was giving Dean unconditional consent, that he would do whatever it took to live—speciflcally for Dean, and according to Dean's judgment. It's the same choice he made in the church, and for the same reasons (plus, now, the additional factor that he already failed to close the gates of Hell, so the importance of coming through for Dean is even more paramount). I don't think Ezekiel could have possessed him or erased his memory or any of the other things he's doing if Sam hadn't given Dean his unconditional trust and consent.

So, although I don't trust Show to go there, I really, really, really hope that Dean can trust him in return. I don't think it's at all OOC for Dean to be unable to do that, and it's not a make or break thing for me, but I do love that Dean's at least trying to get there. That he recognizes on some level that he has to trust and be honest with Sam, too, if this is going to work.

I think a big part of Dean's desperation when he sees inside of Sam's head is that he knows he's responsible for a lot of what Sam's feeling, since Sam's confession in the church to him, he knows he screwed up in communicating with his brother that he's the most important thing in the world to him.

Well put. I loved Dean's words to Sam and am only sorry Sam won't remember them!

I really enjoyed the episode, so much better then the season 8 opener. Love your recap of it, the only thing that bugged me was the switching from Dean/Sam's story to Castiel it really killed the tension/build up, I hope it isn't a regular thing because it will really piss me off.

I really hope Ezekiel is a good guy, it would be nice to have an angel that isn't a Dick with wings!! XD

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