itsnotmymind: (Default)
Jack is of course very obviously a stand-in for Sam, down to horrifying his loved ones with the blood on his face. Jack turns into something non-human, as we were told - but never shown - Sam would do.

Control )
itsnotmymind: (Default)
It the last thing we see Amy Pond say to Sam is this: “You could still walk away from this. We both can. Sam... After what I did for you.”

It's the same card Dean pays in the Pilot, in the church in Sacrifice. The same care Ruby plays in IKWYDLS. Look what I did for you.
itsnotmymind: (Default)
I was thinking about Sam's emotional intimacy issues in light of a some of his interactions with demons.

As usual, bear in mind that I haven't seen past S10.

Do you remember the time Sam totally confided in Meg? He doesn’t want to confide, and then she pushes, and she reminds him that she knows his “sad, little thoughts and feelings.” He tells her that’s creepy, but then he starts opening up to her. She pushes, and he ends up telling her all about Amelia. She’s been inside his head. She literally knows everything about him. She was the first, but not the last.

If I was going to name one person besides Dean who Sam confided in the most within the context of an actual relationship, it would be Ruby.

And he never loved her.

I just can’t believe he would have had absolutely no concern and reaction about her death if he had in any way loved her.

She’s like Dean and not like Dean. He sees Dean as speaking through her, and she calls him “my boy”. She plays Dean’s trump card, the reminder of what she has done for him (“I'm a fugitive... For you, Sam. I took all of this risk to get back to you, so, yeah, I deserve a damn ‘thank you.’”) but it doesn’t work as well for her. Sam wonders who asked her to save him (who asked Dean?). She doesn’t express affection for him, and he doesn’t feel affection for her. They’re using each other, that much is upfront.

She expresses empathy about Dean’s death, but not untill after they’ve been working together for a while. Then she convinced him to sleep with h er. The emotional intimacy is there and gone. She puts it out there, but instead of letting him pull away and shut her out, she pushes him into another kind of intimacy, one that is considerably less intimate. A distraction from the emotional intimacy he would have withdrawn from (He fled Bobby, didn’t he? And if Mystery Spot is anything to judge by, he would have fled Bobby no matter how hard Bobby pushed for connection.). In sleeping with her he is accepting his monstrous nature. In sleeping with her he is rejecting and accepting his brother. In sleeping with her, he is giving her attempt to reach out to him an affirmation that he would never have given her under any other circumstances.
itsnotmymind: (Default)
One of my thoughts about Sam Winchester is that he has issue with emotional intimacy.

It's a big step )
itsnotmymind: (Default)
*Warning for discussion of sexual assault*

I'm pretty sure Dean's issues with Sam's sexuality started with Ruby. He doesn’t seem to be concerned that Sam would sleep with Ruby in S3. He had other Ruby issues, but not that. I don’t recall him having issues with Sam sleeping with Madison. In S1 Dean was the one pushing for Sam to get involved with women.

It would be in the dark )
itsnotmymind: (Default)
The scene from the Something Wicked flashback where Dean gives Sam the Lucky Charms is usually interpreted as an example of Dean being an indulgent big brother who gives little brother whatever he wants. But I've got a possible alternative interpretation.

No more lucky charms )
itsnotmymind: (Default)
The disadvantage of making posts from old ramblings is that sometimes, the post you are responding to is not findable. Fortunately, for this edited rambling, all you have to do is watch a certain scene in Sex and Violence. I was inspired by seeing a gif set on tumblr that consisted of two panels of siren-influenced Sam in Sex and Violence making fun of Dean for “whining” about having tortured souls in Hell. “Boo hoo.”

You're not standing in my way anymore )
itsnotmymind: (Default)
I have occasionally thought about how both Spike and Ruby use Buffy and Sam’s shame about their sexual relationship against them.

There are strong differences, of course. Spike just wants Buffy to love him. In many ways, he follows her lead, but his lack of soul makes it difficult for him to gauge when he’s abusing her and when he isn’t. He’s an emotional predator, and we see that on the balcony in Dead Things. She’s ashamed of what they do together, so he uses it to isolate her from her friends, to convince her that she is bad and dirty and has no choice but to be with him. He deliberately crushes her happiness and exacerbates her feelings and self-loathing. He’s impulsive about it - only a few episodes later he is touched to see her happy. But that makes what he does no less real.

His encouragement alley beating is real, too. Buffy’s a big girl and Spike doesn’t force her to do anything, but he encourages her. He lets her. He wants her to beat him, because the more horrible she is, the more ashamed she feels, and the more (from his perspective at the time) she is under his power.

Ruby comes at it more deliberately. She doesn't want love. She wants control over Sam in order to achieve her goals. While she may have enjoyed having sex with Sam, I think she initiates sex in order to have power. Dean’s “banging monsters” comment in Sex and Violence underlines Sam’s very real and very legit reasons for being ashamed of having sex with Ruby, for not wanting Dean - or Bobby, for that matter - to know.

While Spike wants Buffy’s friends to know the truth, Ruby initiates the lie to Dean, in such a way that continuing the lie is the path of least resistance to Sam. Later, she encourages Sam to tell Dean the truth, but she’s already set it up. They’re co-conspirators. Telling Dean the truth would be admitting that minutes after Dean walked into the door from Hell Sam lied to his face about something pretty significant. In that moment, when Ruby wondered if Dean was Sam’s lover, Sam chose Ruby. “He’s my brother,” he said, and in some ways, he really did choose a demon over his own brother.
itsnotmymind: (Default)
From Sam's point of view, Dean rejected Sam because of his monstrousness, but not Benny. If I didn’t know you, I would want to hunt you. Dean never really took back that assessment.

And I wonder if Sam's determination to believe that Dean is too close to Benny to think clearly is not based on jealousy of Dean's love for Benny, but rather on fear that Dean isn't too close to Benny. That his assessment of Benny is, in fact, objective. And if this is a simple, objective judgment on Dean’s part, if Sam has the faith in Dean’s judgment that he does, then the implications of that are simply too painful. Because from Sam's point of view, Dean told Sam in Metamorphosis exactly what his judgment of Sam would be if Dean didn't love him.

(In Metamorphosis, Dean said "know", not "love", which is more ambiguous...but how did Sam hear it?)

And whatever Dean’s intentions with killing Amy were, it must have been pretty hard for Sam to not see it as proof that “if I didn’t know you, I would want to hunt you” was still in effect.
itsnotmymind: (Default)
I think the reason Sam gives into Dean in the Mentalists is not that he's ashamed of his mental illness, per se. It's what Dean says: "And I woulda told you, eventually, once I knew that this whole "waving a gun at Satan" thing was a one-time show. I think it's reasonable to want to know that you're off the friggin' high dive, Sam. You almost got us both killed, so you can be pissed all you want, but quit being a bitch."

Ever since getting his wall broken, Sam’s #1 goal has been being there for Dean (“You know me. You know why. I’m not leaving my brother out there alone.”). He was desperate that his problems to not make things worse for Dean (“You got a lot of pretty severe crap swinging your way lately, and -- and I thought --what? I thought why burst the one good bubble you had left? It's under control.”), to the point of making a very unwise decision and hiding his problems from Dean and Bobby.

Even in the witch episode, Sam tells Dean, “You can unload. That's kind of what I'm here for.” The very point of Sam’s existence, at this particular period in his life, is to be there for Dean.

And Dean throws in his face that he failed. That his mental issues fucked things over for Dean.

On Dean's end, I think the feelings are real. . Of course it’s not fair to blame your brother for falling apart when he was hallucinating the devil who tortured and raped him for a length of time too ridiculous to mention here. And of course if your brother points a loaded gun at you because of mental issues that he previously deliberately hid from you, it's going to hurt, anyway.

But Dean in The Mentalists is not just expressing his feelings. He took those very real feelings and stored them up. And then, when Sam was not falling in line the way he wanted Sam to, he used those feelings in a very subtle victim-blamey way to coerce Sam into falling in line.

And it works. And it works again, in PPMM, when a mere reference to Sam’s mental illness is enough to get Sam to shut up about something Dean doesn’t want to hear about.
itsnotmymind: (sam & dean metamorphosis)
Dean often assumes he knows Sam better than he actually does. Sam isn't usually surprised to find out that there are parts of Dean he doesn't know. Dean, on the other hand, simply assumes in Bloody Mary that he knows everything there is to know about Jessica's death, and is flummoxed in Houses of The Holy to discover that Sam prays every day. Sam in When the Levee Breaks articulates one of Dean's greatest fears when he tells his brother that Dean has never known him.

I do pray every day )
itsnotmymind: (candy cane)
Slightly rambly thoughts on Sam Winchester's emotional state in SPN S8. Bear in mind that I have only watched the show through the end of S10.

Must feel great finally finding someone you can trust )
itsnotmymind: (gadreel)
Some thoughts on Sam Winchester while soulless:

Soulless Sam has no feelings. But he remembers having feelings. Vividly. My memory of the end of You Can’t Handle the Truth is that the idea that he can’t feel., that he doesn’t actually care about Lisa and Ben, that he doesn’t get scared anymore, that idea still stuns him. Even though it’s been more than a year.
Because you care, and that's who you are )
itsnotmymind: (sam & ellen)
I was thinking about how Dean’s reassurances of Sam from, well, Sam’s infancy play into Sam’s requests to be reassured. The interesting thing is that Sam doesn’t just ask for reassurances from Dean (although of course he does ask Dean for reassurances; see for example the end of Crossroad Blues), but Bobby, too. See The Magnificent Seven (“We can win this war. Right?”) and Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (“But you're gonna be all right. Right, Bobby?”).

It's interesting, as Sam and Dean didn’t know Bobby THAT well when they were kids, and he doesn’t seem like the comforting type. Yes Sam turns to him for reassurance as well as Dean. I don’t think we ever see an example of Sam turned to John for reassurance, though.

Sam cuts back on asking Dean for reassurances after the Hell deal, but in a way, the scene in the church in Sacrifice was a big of example of Sam asking to be reassured. When intensely stressed, he falls back on old patterns.
itsnotmymind: (sam & dean & john)
Some analysis of the complicated relationships John has with his sons, as mentioned previous entry. Always a difficult thing to do with the very limited glimpses we see of their past, but one I find worth trying.
Even when they fight )
itsnotmymind: (buffy & sam)
Brief thoughts on Sam Winchester and lying, will probably have more thoughts later:

We are all well aware of Sam's extensive lying in S4. One particularly nasty example is his claim in Lazarus Rising that he hasn’t been using his powers because “you didn't want me to go down that road, so I didn't go down that road. It was practically your dying wish.” It's the reference to Dean's "dying wish" that makes Sam's lie seem particularly cold to me.

But the thing is, what tends to get forgotten by people (including me), is that Sam actually started lying, or at least hiding things from Dean, in S3.

And if we don't screw with it, you die! )
itsnotmymind: (gadreel)
S7 Sam cracks me up.

"First I got addicted to demon blood and screwed up and started the apocalypse so then I sacrificed myself to save the day and was tortured in Hell by the Devil for a length of time too ridiculous to mention here, and while this was going on my body was separated from my soul and while my soul stayed in Hell to be tortured my body was brought up to earth, where I had no empathy and little emotion and proceeded to lots of skeevy things, and then when my soul was finally rescued from Hell and reunited with my body Death put a wall in my mind so that I couldn’t remember parts of my life/death, and then a friend removed the wall in attempt to frighten my brother into going along with his highly questionable plan to endanger the world and then I was stuck in a dream sequence where I had to kill parts of myself in order to unite myself and then I woke up and was haunted by hallucinations of torture and of the Devil, who as previously discussed had tortured and raped me for a length of time too ridiculous to mention, and I wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t and my brother showed me what was real by causing me physical pain and now I know if I squeeze an injury I have on my hand my hallucination of the Devil disappears temporarily, although he always comes back, and you know what? I’m okay.”

Or as he says in Defending Your Life, “I kind of feel good.”
itsnotmymind: (dean in my time of dying)
Comparing Dean's confrontation with a crossroad demon in AHBL2 to Sam's confrontation with a crossroad demon in IKWYDLS:

Crossroad Deals )
itsnotmymind: (sam & dean metamorphosis)
In a previous entry, I talked about Dean's lack of belief in Sam in Point of No Return. I wrote, "Whether one agrees with Dean about Sam or not (and I disagree with his arguments but not his conclusion - remember, Sam does say 'yes' to Lucifer), you can't argue with how Dean feels, with what faith he has or doesn't have."

I wanted to go into a little more detail about what I meant by agreeing with Dean's arguments but not his conclusions. Let's start with Dean's explanation of why he doesn't believe in Sam: "I don’t know whether it’s gonna be demon blood or some other demon chick or what, but…I do know they're gonna find a way to turn you.[...]You’re angry, you’re self-righteous. Lucifer's gonna wear you to the prom, man. It's just a matter of time."

Yes )

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