Hi! So, does this mean that Sam has completed the first of the Trials for closing the gates of hell? Or does he have to intend to close them?
Hi there! I’ll start out with a few comments, and then I’ll try to answer this as best I can. First, I am in Downtown Migraineland right now. I apologize in advance for any weird incoherency in this reply…
(note from the future, i.e. nearly 4 hours after I started trying to piece this reply together: My migraine is gone, but this reply went into A LOT OF DETAIL about the parallels not only in this episode, but in all of s12. This ended up being really weird meta on what I think Dabb’s Grand Plan for the entire season is hinging on. IT IS LONG. Just a warning.)
I think a lot of s12 has been paralleling A LOT of the past, turning it inside out, applying it through a different lens or allowing characters to see these things from a different side, and resolving things in a better way.
That said, I think they’ve been referring back to the Demon Tablet Trials and the Angel Fall Spell (because the angel fall spell was a spell, not Trials. Metatron confirmed that). But all the elements of those things are being addressed in different ways, and paralleled to ~similar~ things happening in s12… I’m struggling to try and put this together in a linear narrative that even comes close to connecting all the dots. There’s SO MUCH going on in this episode, I’m not sure that’s really possible, but HECK I WILL TRY.
(second note from the future: this is about 3k long, so it’s going under a cut. THERE IS SO MUCH)
(i am typing this from the floor where I’m curled up around pictures of Andrew Dabb and Davy Perez while weeping gently)
1.16, and the return to the demon mytharc. Meg summons demons, Sam suspects something fishy with her, and Dean’s the one doing all the research.
As hard as John had tried to keep them out of the hunt for The Demon That Killed Mary, the demons have conspired to drag Sam and Dean back into their business. Dean finds the connection that all the daeva victims are connected to Lawrence, Kansas, and they call John in to help.
So here’s where I just copy/paste a huge chunk of dialogue relevant to s12, with footnotes!:
SAM: I know. I’m just sayin’, what if we did? What if this whole thing was over tonight? Man, I’d sleep for a month. Go back to school—be a person again. DEAN: You wanna go back to school? SAM: Yeah, once we’re done huntin’ the thing. DEAN: Huh. SAM: Why, is there somethin’ wrong with that? DEAN: No. No, it’s, uh, great. Good for you. SAM: I mean, what are you gonna do when it’s all over? DEAN: It’s never gonna be over. There’s gonna be others. There’s always gonna be somethin’ to hunt. SAM: But there’s got to be somethin’ that you want for yourself— DEAN: Yeah, I don’t want you to leave the second this thing’s over, Sam. SAM: Dude, what’s your problem? DEAN: Why do you think I drag you everywhere? Huh? I mean, why do you think I came and got you at Stanford in the first place? SAM: ‘Cause Dad was in trouble. ‘Cause you wanted to find the thing that killed Mom. DEAN: Yes, that, but it’s more than that, man. You and me and Dad—I mean, I want us….I want us to be together again. I want us to be a family again. SAM: Dean, we are a family. I’d do anything for you. But things will never be the way they were before. DEAN: (sadly) Could be. SAM: I don’t want them to be. I’m not gonna live this life forever. Dean, when this is all over, you’re gonna have to let me go my own way.
So to Sam, being a hunter isn’t “being a person.” To him, it’s giving up something he believes is essential to humanity. He’s fine with it as long as it’s in service of his own personal revenge mission, but once that’s finished he doesn’t feel any reason to keep sacrificing his own life in service to hunting, to saving others. It’s not a calling to him like it is for Dean.
But to Dean, hunting is the central element of what family is to him. It’s the only way he knows how to relate to family, and it’s what’s always held them together. This gets explored more in 2.20, where in Dean’s djinn dream life without hunting he and Sam have nothing in common and hardly even know each other. It’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make on his own behalf, but NOT when he learns that everyone they’d ever saved had died in that world because they weren’t out there hunting. THAT’S one of Dean’s primary motivations to continue hunting. He really is about the Saving People, far more than Sam was back at the beginning. His motivation since childhood has been protecting people, starting with Sam himself. It’s a primary aspect of Dean’s personality, and he can’t just lay that aside.
But one thing he can do is let Sam go his own way… unless that way is dialing up this “finish the hunt” mentality dialed up to 11; to this “kill all the monsters and then we can be done” nonsense the MoL have tempted him with.
Fundamentally Sam does still want out. He wants his life back, whatever that means to him now. And like always, Dean’s going to support him as much as he can, until Sam goes too far.
MEG: I’m doing this for the same reasons you do what you do—loyalty. Love. Like the love you had for Mommy—and Jess.
Love and loyalty. Sounds like s12…
SAM: Dean, we should stick together. We’ll go after those demons— DEAN: Sam! Listen to me! We almost got Dad killed in there. Don’t you understand? They’re not gonna stop. They’re gonna try again. They’re gonna use us to get to him. I mean, Meg was right. Dad’s vulnerable when he’s with us. He—he’s stronger without us around.
Well, they change that tune in a few episodes, but for now… ouch.
Since this is InsanityRule 2.0 I figured I should do this again
Favorite episode? Optimal
Tip to Tip Efficiency because that dick joke and that hug
Favorite character? Jared with a new close second of Nelson because my heart
Favorite pairing? Jarrich with NelsonBelson trying to steal my heart (You’ll notice a pattern)
Something people may not know about you? I’m getting married in less than a month
Are you in any other fandoms? Veep, IASIP, The Mindy Project, VGHS, The League, The Office, Pacific Rim, Ed Edd and Eddy, Arrested Development, other things so just ask and I’ve probably watched them
If you could be any character from Silicon Valley for a day, who would it be? Clearly I can’t have my way anymore because I nearly bought Gushers the other day I am Nelson Bighead Bighetti
What hobbies do you have in your everyday life? Music, videogames, writing fanfiction, trying to break everyone with Recollection, boardgames, sewing
Favorite quote from Silicon Valley? The entire dick joke. All of it.
Favorite quote from anything? I think it’s something daisy did on Gavin’s ae blog. Probably.
Write something that you like about yourself or something you want others to know. I’ll think of something here later maybe. Never doubt the power of an inside joke because my engagement ring was a Ring Pop no regrets. Also if you throw prompts at my face I’ll probably write them.