I've watched enough preview clips beforehand to know this is not a feel good episode. Still, when the credits started rolling, all I wanted to do was screaming at the TV set, or hurl something at it. But, 'm not a violent person, and I was at friend's house.
So where do I begin? My mind is still a bit jumbled with the onslaught of emotions. ::sigh::
Sammy! Let's start with Sammy... He was so *difficult* to watch in this one. Jared Padalecki did a fantastic job portraying his alter-ego last night, the best he's ever done IMHO. But, let's get back to the characters...
Sam's time in Bobby's panic room was painful, to say the least. All those hallucinations. ::shiver:: I think each of them represented a part of Sam's inner-self. Alistair was the manifestation of the physical pain Sam was going through. The child!Sam was his innocence, the lost innocence in particular, especially when the kid's eyes burned yellow. Mary represented Sam's resolve. There was a large part of him honestly believed he was doing the right thing. It's interesting his subconscious picked his mother to re-affirm his actions. For one thing, like most mothers to their children, Mary embodied goodness to Sam, influenced by the way John and Dean adored her, she's quite possibly "on the pedestal" for him as well. But then, despite having a large impact on Sam's life, Mary is also the one person who's virtually a stranger to him. So having her whispering encouragement in his ear, I can see Sam's resolution at continuing his current path was stemmed from good intentions, but nonetheless a wishful thinking, thus could not be validated. Then, there's a part of Sam did know he was turning into a monster. Hence the hallucination of the physical change that brought on the fit. Finally, but most importantly, there was head!Dean, who I think represented Sam's conscience. I believe the only time Dean was actually inside the panic room was when he tried to stop Sam's fit with Bobby. From the different clothes Dean was wearing, and the sound of his voice, it was quite obvious the "Dean" appeared to Sam following his fit was a figment of Sam's imagination. But hallucination or not, I cringed when "Dean" told Sam "he" only pretended they were brothers, that Sam meant nothing to "him". Sam's devastated reaction aptly showed that Dean's rejection of him was Sam's greatest fear!
Since I'm on the topic of Dean, I just want to say Jensen Ackles never cease to amaze me with his performance. Even in the background, Dean's frustration, pain, and determination were acutely palpable. From the way Dean dragged his feet climbing the stairs leading away from where Sam was held, to his trance-like state while holding down a thrashing Sam (I felt Dean was lost in the sea of pain with his brother at that moment), I can only wish Sam could see or understand how much it hurt Dean to do this (forcing cold-turkey) to him. But Sam wasn't aware, at least not now. Even worse, Sam resented Dean's action. Sadly, the way I see it, it was Sam's indignation at Dean's treatment of him that drove the wedge between the brothers.
I was quite awed at the different ways Dean sounded in this episode. First, it was the emotional tone Dean used talking with Bobby, the slight catch in his voice when he told Bobby he'd rather see Sam die human; and he won't let his brother turn into a monster. This contrasted sharply with the growly voice of head!Dean berating Sam, calling Sam the very thing the real Dean vowed to keep him from becoming! Then there was the hoarse sounding Dean begging Castiel for help, making it utterly believable Dean had been calling the angel's name for two hours, highlighting how desperate Dean was. Finally, there was Dean's confrontation with Sam, the quiet voice in which Dean choked out the word "monster", and the cracking voice Dean used telling Sam not to come back if he walked out that door had my heart racing, and my breath hitched.
I'd be lying if I say I wasn't pissed at Sam for walking out on Dean. That was almost a déjà vu. Didn't John once issued the exact same ultimatum? And Sam made the exact same choice. It was as if Sam's life has come to a full circle.
But pissed wasn't the only thing I felt about Sam last night. I was literally feeling bad for him one second, and mad at him the next. My heart went out to Sam at seeing the tears welled up in his eyes when he knew that dreaded word (of what he has become) was hovering behind his brother's tongue. The way he forced Dean to say the word out loud almost had me in tears too. When Dean finally did, followed by a lone fat tear rolling down his face (how did Jensen do that?!), I could feel something broke inside Sam as well. Just when I wanted to reach into the screen and give both brothers a hug, Wham! Sam knocked Dean on the ground with his fist. I flinched and was utterly livid at Sam. How could he do this to his brother?! Especially when Dean was so obviously heartbroken.
I almost jumped out of my skin when Dean got back up and punched Sam right back! True, Dean could give just as well as he takes, and it wasn't the first time he socked Sam, but I've never seen him done so with the tear he shed for his brother still wet on his face. I don't know why that makes me exceedingly sad...
I was in total denial when Sam's large hands wrapped around Dean's neck, squeezing the living daylights out of him. Why is everyone so intent on choking Dean's pretty neck these days, hmm?! Seriously, I thought that was a bit extreme. I simply could not wrap my mind around the fact Sam would do that. Yes, I can see Sam was mad at Dean, but mad enough to kill him?! Really?! Wasn't it not long ago Sam had expressed (to Ruby of all people) that he wished he could fix things with Dean once he accomplishes his goal? By the way, that was my single glimmer of hope from this episode that things would turn out all right between the brothers. The fact Sam wants to right the wrongs he caused with Dean gave me loads of relief. Then why minutes later, Sam went for Dean's jugular instead?! The only logical explanation I can think of is Sam was not himself at that moment. Actually, the more I think about it, that might not be too far off. Based on Anna's reaction to Sam's face from last week's episode, to the fact Castiel has to break the Devil's Trap in order to release Sam this time, it looks like Sam may well on his way of becoming a demon already. :(
Which brings my thoughts back to Deeeean! I won't deny I'm a Dean!girl. Even though I adore Sam, I confess it is Dean who owns me. Seeing Dean lying so brokenly and lonely amidst the debris from the terrible fight completely threw off my equilibrium. I'm so very afraid for him. What's gonna happen? Could he save Sam? Was he being led astray by the angels? Looking at what Castiel did last night, I have no doubt Dean was nothing but a pawn in the
However, that doesn't bode well for Dean I think. I'm afraid his objective is very much different from what the angels are asking of him, if what Castiel did last night was any indication. It was a surprise for me to see the angel sprung Sam from the panic room. I'm baffled at why he did that. Either Castiel was following orders from bad angels, or the so called "destiny" dictates Sam must kill Lilith even if the deed may cost Sam his humanity. It's not like the angels give a crap about what happens to Sam Winchester. Like his brother, Sam is nothing but a pawn in this battle as well.
What frustrates me about these angels and demons is their objectives aren't clear. I know the Apocalypse is the ultimate goal, but the way to bring it on or prevent it was never quite in the open. I doubt Ruby was even telling Sam the truth when she hinted Lilith is the only being who can break the last seal (to free Lucifer). Let's not forget Demon lies, and Ruby should not be an exception. My pet theory is sacrificing Lilith is more likely to be the last seal instead. Wouldn't it be a kicker that Sam is going to be tricked (by Ruby) to break the last seal?! A side note here: I'm very sorry Dean didn't get to kill the b*tch. For a second there, I thought he would succeed, but alas, no such luck! Is it wrong of me to wish for Ruby a lot more than Lilith to "bite the dust"?
Now let's look at what the angels are trying to accomplish here. Quite honestly, I'm not even sure they are all working towards the same end. Obviously Anna was in conflict with what Castiel and Zacharia were doing. Were Castiel and Zacharia even working on preventing the looming Apocalypse?! All they said to Dean was he had to prevent It. But what is "it"? Did they ever actually spell that out to Dean? I need to go back several episodes and watch them to be sure, but I'm almost certain they never explicitly indicated it was the Apocalypse they wanted Dean to prevent. It was all a big assumption on Dean's (and the audiences') part the way I see it.
Regardless, the fate of the brothers is quite gloom at this point. I'm very much afraid Sam and Dean are going to be ripped apart before the season ends. How am I going to survive months of waiting before I can watch them making their way back to each other?! ::flail:: Kripke, you are an evil genius!