I don’t know how they do it, but Supernatural‘s writers put so much material into each episode that I end up taking nine to ten pages of notes during my first viewing. I took nine pages of notes last week; this week, I took ten. Seriously, how am I supposed to write a review with that much material and not an essay? Synthesis out the window, I say! Get yourselves a cup of Joe, it’s going to be a lovely but lengthy read. The Winchester brothers certainly deserve it.
The main question from season five’s premiere (and from most of season four) is how are Dean and Sam going to successfully fight off demons and ultimately Lucifer in the midst of the current turmoil their relationship is in. On the one hand, Dean can’t trust Sam, Sam having chosen a demon over Dean once before. Never mind that Sam did it for good reasons (to prevent the Apocalypse, or so he thought), quite expertly manipulated by Ruby; that betrayal created a world of hurt that colours Dean’s relationship with Sam.
Sam: You don’t want me going out there.
Dean: I didn’t say that.
Sam: Around demons.
Dean: I didn’t say that!
Sam: Fine, then let’s go.
On the other hand, Sam is going to want to make it up to Dean, and I’m pretty sure there are going to be quite a few temperamental moments like the one in this episode, where Dean pushes Sam too far and Sam, wanting (almost depending on) Dean’s approval, will snap at his older brother.
Sam: Because you think that (…) after everything (that happened), I haven’t learned my lessons?
Dean: Well, have you?
Sam, pushing his brother into a wall: If you actually think I… (walks off with a shake of his head)
Both have valid reasons to feel the way they do, but I have to admit Sam’s reaction seems to be the more mature of the two, asking Dean to set aside their differences and act like professionals. It’s also nice that he’s retaining his humanity, not becoming bitter, cynical or mistrustful and, most importantly, not losing faith. He still wants to fix things with Dean, instead of giving up because his older brother is being such a hardhead (as usual). Every death bothers him; while it can become emotionally taxing, it means he’s still human – and still at risk of falling back into his demon blood habit.
Sam’s wanting to be nice is what makes him weak – it might even make him want to drink more demon blood so as not to kill the people who are possessed. So the sooner he realises the extent of his power, the sooner they can start getting over it and become all chummy and nice again.
Which makes me wonder what would have happened had Dean not walked in on Sam literally shaking from the blood spilt before him. Never mind that it wasn’t actual demon blood; the important thing is that Sam thought it was demon blood. Sam has repeated many times that he feels helpless – except when he was able to get rid of demons without killing the host, high on demon blood, of course. Just imagine what would have happened if Jo really had been possessed, and Ellen knew Sam could save her, pending a little demon blood. The sad part is that Sam seems to not remember what Ruby confirmed — that he has it in him to lay on his mojo without the demon blood.
Methinks this is going to be an emotionally harsh season not just for Sam and Dean but also for the fans, judging by the various blog posts, fan forums, and discussion boards. How many of you felt like reaching into the screen, shaking the brothers senseless while screaming, “Get your act together, boys! I can’t take this any more!”
Since that can’t be done perhaps, dare I say the decision the boys made at the end of the episode is the best one; separated, they might be able to work on fighting demons better, but also, they might be work on dealing with their emotions better. In other words, maybe Dean can finally start getting over what Sam did. Had Sam stayed… they proved that in current conditions, they are not the best fighting duo anymore; imagine if Batman and Robin had a fight like that, then went off to face Joker. The latter would have such a field day! And no, I refuse to go into the debate of who is Batman and who is Robin in Supernatural, only to concede that Jensen and Jared in tights is hilarious enough a thought for me to consider contacting The CW.
And I have to admit that, in Sam’s position, I would also be torn and quite tempted to drink demon blood again.