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Supernatural: Who Is The Real Sam Winchester?

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For Sam fans, as promised, I’m taking on the common concerns many have voiced over the younger Winchester brother recently. I’ve been struggling with this analysis for a week now, unsure how to capture my views into coherent thought. Then I saw “Criss Angel Is A Douchebag” and all the pieces fell in place. Poor Sammy!

First, the ground rules. Any analysis of Sam’s character will not come at the expense of Dean. This isn’t pitting one brother against the other. Second, I won’t be blasting the writers, Kripke, directors, casting, etc. I’m going off what we’ve been given, and will avoid comments that harp on supposedly lazy writing.

This works simply: I list a common complaint in bold and then give my analysis.

Sam has been relegated to guest star in season four.

Season four is more than officially half over, and yes, the main parts of the story line have focused on Dean’s saga. Season four isn’t over yet though, so I’m holding all official judgment on that one until I see the entire package. This season hasn’t been without golden Sam moments, though. Allow me to share a few.

In “Lazarus Rising,” which was clearly a Dean-focused episode, whose jaw didn’t drop over seeing Sam use his demon-pulling powers for the first time? It was awesome and a long time coming. Remember, he didn’t use his abilities at all for the second half of season two and all of season three. We almost forgot he even had powers. That’s cool Sam character development.

The entire episode of “Metamorphosis” was a Sam fan’s delight. He was finally pushed far enough where he exploded at Dean, telling him exactly why he didn’t tell him about the demon blood and why he’d been lying all this time. We’d been waiting for that conversation for a long time. He always thought Dean saw him as a freak and that he didn’t know the difference between right and wrong. Come the end, when Dean wanted to talk about it, Sam’s natural instinct to internalize and sweep issues under the rug kicked in. It was his burden and he wasn’t sharing. Dean wouldn’t understand.

Sam said something else during that conversation too, one that resonated clearly in “Criss Angel…” He told Dean he wasn’t going to use his abilities anymore. He wasn’t doing it for Dean or the angels. It was his choice. That’s what I think season four Sam is all about. He’s making his own choices. He’s not letting big brother protect him or take charge anymore. He’s still going to keep secrets from Dean, because Dean will try to stop him and tell him what to do. He has his own path to follow, and that may or may not include his brother.

In “It’s The Great Pumpkin Sam Winchester,” we got a great glimpse of Sam’s crisis of faith. Everything and everyone was letting him down. Angels, God, and yes, even his brother when Dean told him to not use his abilities. He was left to trust only his instincts, so he used his powers in that intense struggle with Samhain despite what he was told. He chose to do what it took to get the job done and save people, even defending this mindset to the powerful Uriel who berated him. Sam holding firm was a good thing and a great sign of his growth.

“Wishful Thinking” had one terrifying glimpse into Sam’s psyche, and for a second there we believed he was John Winchester. Sam’s chilling mention to Dean of his wish for Lilith’s bloody head on a plate hinted he’d been on a crusade for revenge against Lilith ever since Dean died, much like the one his father went on after Mary’s death. That would explain what has driven many of his actions this season, and gives hints about what’s to come.

I don’t like Ruby and how Sam’s story revolves around her.

That leads me to what I believe is the most pivotal episode of Sam’s character development, “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Many missed the points of that episode because Ruby was a distraction. As a matter of fact, anytime Ruby comes on the screen she’s a distraction.

Despite what any of us think about the character and the actresses who have played her (I think Genevieve is improving but still rough), she exists. She probably won’t be going away soon either, so instead I focus on what she’s doing to Sam. You’ve got to admit, she’s leading him down a rabbit hole and no one knows where it goes. I enjoy watching that mystery unfold each week. It’s hard to be patient though, considering network television seasons are long and drawn out, but I will be.

How would you have pictured Sam without Dean? Broken, alone, drunk, not caring whether he lived or died? That’s what I pictured and that’s what we got. Jared was outstanding when showing that aspect of Sam. Remember how Dean was the same way when Sam died? The bottom line is I don’t think either of these brothers would have been able to get out of their ruts alone. It’s also interesting how both got out of their predicaments through demons.

Ruby adds a fascinating element to the story. She’s the supposed demon gone good who comes to the rescue to save Sam from himself. Except we aren’t sure if she’s good. I love the ambiguity. Many of us are waiting for her to rip off the security blanket she’s got wrapped around Sam and reveal her dastardly plan for them both. The issue isn’t that Sam is falling for this now. The question is, will he see the light in time should she turn on him in the future? She drives plot, and plot is good.

The brotherly bond is gone and the show stopped being about two brothers after season two.

Gone, no. Changed dramatically, yes. If it was gone these two wouldn’t still be going on hunts together and living in close quarters. For years they grew up under the same premise — Dean was always there to protect Sam. In season three that all changed. The turning point was when Sam killed the crossroads demon in “Bedtime Stories.” Dean hated it, but Sam wouldn’t apologize. These are likely the same issues that had Sam going off to college. He needed to live his life.

In season four yes, they’re more divided than ever. The bond is still there though, as “Criss Angel…” showed. Sure, Sam kept something big from Dean and didn’t tell him about Ruby’s visit, but the fact that Sam sought out Dean’s advice and used what Dean said (it ends bloody or sad) to make his final choice showed how much he still needed his brother’s opinion. Sometimes I question if Sam keeps Dean in the dark not only because he doesn’t think Dean understands, but to protect him as well.

“Criss Angel…” showed some fun moments too, like when they were in the hotel room trying to figure out what to do with the magician. That’s the brothers working together, and as usual it’s small moments like that which define them. Same with “I Know What You Did Last Summer” when both were nursing their wounds. They were in it together, taking care of each other through thick and thin.

I know, it’s not like the old days. The brotherly moments seem to be fewer and farther between and they are far from being on the same page. The stakes are higher though, and each have been put in dramatically different circumstances that’s difficult to share. Seeing their loyalty tested is still enjoyable, as when Dean turned over Anna to protect Sam (that might have been a setup, but I liked it either way). The changed dynamic produces some golden scenes too, like the mausoleum scene in “It’s The Great Pumpkin…” That was the closest Dean came to understanding Sam’s burden, and it terrified him. Those are the brotherly moments I’d like to see more of.

As for the show becoming about one brother, while I agree season four so far has been Dean-heavy, season three was equally about both. Dean’s deal took too hard a toll on both of them, and while Dean emerged with more self-confidence, Sam emerged with a huge loss of self. As usual, Sam’s descent was more subtle, but the story was well told. I’d lay out my arguments here, but I already did with my articles "A Deeper Look at Season Three Dean Winchester" and "A Deeper Look at Season Three Sam Winchester". I highly suggest checking those out if there are doubts.

I don’t know if Sam came back from death different.

I can answer that. He did. Of course I don’t think Sam’s descent toward his darker side had anything to do with his resurrection. The more he’d gotten pulled into the life, the more he’d realized that hard choices needed to be made. After all, he did the right thing by not killing Jake but that got him killed and ultimately got Dean sent to Hell. The lines between right and wrong have blurred for him since then, and all he’s got left is saving people no matter what.

Sam Winchester is a hero. According to Sera Gamble, “He’s all about the results of his actions.” In season one he was the reluctant hero. In season two, he accepted his duty with resignation after his father’s death, despite his own fears over his destiny. In season three, he learned that despite all his efforts, including going against his “gentle nature,” it still wasn’t enough to save his brother. In season four, Sam’s mindset was clearly stated at the end of “Metamorphosis” when he said, “It’s my choice.” He’s following his own path and accepting the consequences of his own actions and no one else’s.

Sam’s decision to start using his abilities is in part because he felt powerless over Dean’s death and he hated that. As soon as Ruby mentioned she could help him get Lilith, Sam didn’t hesitate over the chance to use his powers. He had a huge justification for his actions, he was saving people. That felt right, and that was all that mattered to him. Sounds heroic to me, and different.

When Dean came back in “Lazarus Rising,” Sam chose to continue using his powers and kept Dean in the dark. He didn’t want Dean to get angry and start barking orders at him to quit. That’s what his Dad did and he resented it. Sure enough, when Dean found out in “Metamorphosis,” he had a fit and punched Sam. That was likely the reason why he didn’t tell Dean about his latest decision to go after Lilith. It’s not the old Sam, that’s for sure, but that’s not necessarily bad.

There was no aftermath from Sam’s misfortunes, aka John’s death, his possession, living without Dean in “Mystery Spot”, and when Dean went to Hell.

Yeah, I’ll agree with that. If you squint hard enough, at times there was evidence of lingering despair. Sam internalizes everything, but one has to wonder how he keeps doing this without having that deep mental breakdown. That happened partially during his meltdown at the end of “Heart,” and arguments could be made that having sex with Ruby was another sign of him cracking, but otherwise he’s holding onto some pretty heavy stuff that has to be eating him alive. Who knows, maybe that’s what the ending in “Criss Angel…” was all about. He doesn’t want this life anymore.

We did get to see some evidence of lingering pain over the possession in “Jus In Bello,” so that was refreshing. Also, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” was a damn good glimpse of how broken up Sam was over Dean’s death. I have a feeling more is to be revealed about Sam’s four months without Dean, so I’m putting a place marker there.

The one that bothered me the most was “Mystery Spot.” Sam went through anywhere from nine months to a year of pure hell. We saw how empty he was by the end. That’s the last we saw of it. He was very withdrawn in “Jus In Bello,” giving hints that he was still very worn from his ordeal, but considering “Jus In Bello” was filmed before “Mystery Spot,” that ended up being accidental. Then they jumped into the comedic episode “Ghostfacers” and an opportunity was lost. Sure, the writers' strike shortened the episode count, but some further mention would have been good.

Sam doesn’t know about Mary’s deal from “In The Beginning.”

Yes he does. Dean told him. We didn’t see the entire conversation, but Dean wouldn’t leave that out. There’s very good evidence that Dean has usually been revealing with his information to Sam. Take “Malleus Maleficarum,” when we found out Dean told Sam all about Casey. Now he’s telling Sam details about Hell. A lot happens in that eight hours a day in the Impala. He knows.

Okay, I’ve put myself in front of the firing squad, so go ahead and shoot! Remember all views here are just one person’s warped opinion, so feel free to show how much that’s the case.

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About Alice Jester

  • cathy1967

    Great analysis. I totally agree with everyting you said. 🙂

  • Sarah

    I applaude you!

    I think you did a fantastic job at analysing Sam so far. Its refreshing to read something that isn’t having a moan about the lack of screen time one has over the other. You have really got to grips with where Sammy is right now and I have to say there are things there that I hadn’t even thought about.

    I don’t understand this war between fans of Sam vs Dean. I’m sure if people watched the show as you do, understanding and actually seeing the developments of each character then there would be less of a problem. Sadly some just can’t see past the petty rivalry they have created.

  • Tina

    Sam fans concerns have been genuine , please dont dismiss as moaning Sarah. If I have genuine worry I express it.

    Alice thank you for your analysis I do hope you are wrong about the deal Mary made that needs to be seen on -screen not off -screen that would be the worst disservice to Sam yet.
    I feel they did need to focus on Dean , totally understandable but for me they went overboard and still had a responsbility to Sam .
    However Criss Angel on Thursday showed that you can focus on one ”Sam” without diminishing the other ”Dean” and well done too the new writer.
    It still remains to bee seen for the rest of the season but I am more hopeful the youngest Winchester will be treated as the equal character he is .And true about Mystery Spot , sometimes I left wondering about the writers we have?

  • elle2


    Great job! I love that you go out and tackle the ‘tough’ subjects and give indepth analysis which allows others to read and digest.

    I’m so thankful you addressed the Sam doesn’t know about Mary deal…I just watched Metamorphosis last night again {paired it with No Rest for the Wicked to see brotherly conflict over Sam’s powers and the Ruby dynamic.)

    I remain thoroughly convinced Sam knows. His reaction as he absorbs mother and grandparents were hunters and then moves into puzzling over: “all that just so yellow-eys could get into my room and bleed in my mouth…” convincingly shows Sam knows, there’s no justification for how he got there otherwise.

    To say Sam doesn’t know one has to believe that Dean merely told him that mom and grandparents were hunters and had a run in with Azazel. How does Sam make the leap of Azazel in his nursery without the deal? He doesn’t.

    I know people like to see these ‘reveals’ via the characters but we didn’t see Dean tell Sam about the breaking of the seals and the rising of Lucifer and yet Sam knows all about it. We didn’t see Dean telling Sam and Bobby that Castiel is an angel and yet there they were at the beginning of episode two researching and discussing angels.

    I see know disservice to Sam.

    Like you I see Sam’s development as subtle yet continuous and fabulous, that said there are moments that are missing. While some arguments can be made, or perhaps requests or wishes rather than arguments, that Dean’s backstory to his bleeding eyes in Bloody Mary MUST be told or that the special significance [or powers] of his amulet, MUST be told — and I’d love to hear/see/experience those — I’d much rather see some ‘loose ends’ tied up — Meg [or the demon that possessed the late Meg Masters] is still out and about, some further explanation of the demon virus from Croaton is necessary and yes…further exploration of Sam’s missing four months which I believe is forthcoming.

    While I dislike the Ruby character [notably b/c the actress portraying her lacks the ability to well *ahem* act and thus pulls me out of the scene, the character does drive the storyline, anytime she arrives I know there is more we’re going to learn. No doubt there’s more to Sam’s and Ruby’s training exercises we’re going to get to see and no, despite Ms. Cortese’s belief that Ruby loves Sam I doubt that’s in anyway mutual.

    Sam’s taste in women, as seen in Jessica and Madison, as well as Sarah (Provenance) leave Ruby far out of the running. He’s changed and may be willing to take a lover for the sake of a lover (or one-night stand) but that just shows how much he’s changed because of the ‘life.’ The Sam who says he wants Lilith’s head on a plate…bloody, is a far cry from S1 but he’s still Sam. His core is still to do good, he’s just less certain that it’s black and white in how to get to the good.

    His struggles with using his powers are going to be with him from here on. He was willing to embrace it with Dean dead b/c revenge was uppermost (and still is) but he’s also walking the line of, hey, if it works, let’s add it to our arsenal along with salt guns and demon knives — not for nothing, why does Ruby allow them to keep her knife anyway? Further, now he’s pushed as he realizes that while Dean still sees this ending bloody and no other life for them but hunting, Sam still wants something w/o hunting and Criss Angel showed that wonderfully.

    I’m betting on further Sam angst and wrestling with his future and destiny and all of that in the upcoming After School Special, flashback episodes always are great for understanding what makes the characters who they are as well as shifting their current actions. I believe for both brothers it is likely to be a realization as to how far they have gone down life’s road and there may be some longing for those good ole’ days, time will tell.

    Great analysis, Alice. I was looking forward to it and it did not disappoint.

  • elle2

    “I see know disservice to Sam”…should have been “I see no disservice to Sam.”

    Darn it, and I previewed it and everything.


  • *bright73

    Thank you Alice for this in-depth look on Sam.
    I agree with very much of what you said. But I don’t know if Dean mention Mary’s deal since he didn’t mention Sam’s demon blood either.

    Just leaving that important revelation out, or making the audience guess the reaction, is unforgivable. It was his mother after all.

    Yes, sam has done a lot in the background for the last three years, and I may be too frank here but I don’t find that good story telling. Not when it concerns a co-lead.

    His story has now been so dragged out that I’m not convinced we’ll ever see Sam story totally unfold. The show has two leads and it’s failing miserably in balancing the characterization/arc between them.

    I still feel hat even the PIPs have more importance than Sam in the story, and in the last ep, they even had more importance than Dean.

    And that’s when my interest totally fades.

    I’m sorry to be so negative but it all feels like “too little, too late”.







  • Lexy

    I have to disagreed about you on this Sam has been relegated to guest star in season four! I don’t know why people are against Dean centric episodes, the fist 2 season where completly Sam’s! 3 season had both brothers equally and now when the time has come for Dean to get some spotlight, everyone is freaking! Up until now everything was about boy king, it is time to learn more about Dean! I think this season is far the best of all!

  • Sandra

    Thank you for your insights! I personally think that this season is the best because of the direction it took! It was about time that good guys show up and that Dean gets something more then being Sam’s overprotective big brother! I am enjoying this season so much because of the Angels and Dean’s arc!

  • Deanna

    This season is awsome! The only problem is Ruby and Sam’s sneaking and lying to Dean!

  • Tigershire

    Ah Alice, I love your mind. I feel the same way you do about Sam and his arc. I get the feeling he’s like a run away train and the trestle over the canyon is missing.

    My opinion on this whole Sam issue is that because it’s subtle, a lot of folks are missing it.

    Now, I’m sure you could argue (and I did in defense of Will Turner in Pirates) that folks should be making movies or tv shows where you have to pay that close attention to get what is going on, but I disagree.

    That is part of the problem we have today – too much is superficial. I love that this show allows me to view it over and over again and I keep finding more and more that I didn’t see the last time. And for me, Sam’s arc is like that. Means I HAVE to pay attention to the show.

    Some folks don’t want that, and that’s fine cause there are lots of shows out there for them if that’s their kind of entertainment.

    So kudoz from me for a very well done review.

  • Ah, Alice, I love your mind too.

    You seem to say everything worth saying that I have stored in my noggin but in a way that is perfectly understandable, rather than the tangled explanations I attempt.

  • Mel(LoveJeter)

    Great detail on the inner workings of Sam. I gotta say I see it pretty much the way you have captured it here in your blog.

  • Patty

    Tigershire I agree. Not many people take the time to re-watch episodes of anything. I still re-watch the previous seasons and STILL find things I missed the first 5 times I watched! I also watch the current season episodes at least twice because I am so on edge the first time I watch that miss tons. I think this is definitely a show that needs to be watched carefully to pick up on all the underlying story bits. The casual viewer will just not get the deeper, underlying plot points.

  • I think you’ve got him totally right, Alice.
    Sam’s essentially a pragmatist. He takes the rubbish that he’s been dealt and trys to do the best he can with it and he doesn’t waste time tearing his hair and making long agonised speeches about his choices so it’s easy to miss what’s going on with him.
    I do like the character Ruby. I’m not totally sold on the present incarnation, I liked the Evil Barbie version better, but the idea of a supposed turncoat demon worming her way into Sam’s trust and nudging him towards some horribly bad choice under the guise of doing the right thing is a really juicy bit of plotting. I’m going to be massivly pissed off if it turns out that she hasn’t got a hidden agenda and it was all really to do with rainbows and kittens after all!
    Who am I kidding though, it’s obviously going to end in tears … Get out of that car, Sammy!

  • Julie

    This Sammy analysis is pure gold! It is true that we are only 12 episodes in the season, and we’re just past the half way mark, and I do know that there’s far more to come for both boys. I do agree that we got our share of Dean time, but that was necessary for the story to go on. Sam’s real story arc for season four is starting to blossom, and as long as the writers are keeping what is going on between him and Ruby in their dark closet we won’t know for sure what are Sam (and even Ruby’s)’s motives.

    As for Ruby, I’m starting to be unsure about her. I had and still have a lot of faith that she will kick the boys in the nazz at some point, and until she does we can’t do much about her. Kripke and the gang brought her back for a reason, I’m sure, and right now she’s the one who saved Sam from a certain alcohol poisoning, suicidal death. Yes, she didn’t do it the way we wanted to have, but that’s her story that’s still has to be told…

    But back to Sam. The boy’s a pretty smart kid, and he’s doing… whatever it is he’s doing… because he knows it’s the right thing to do. And I love my Sammy and trust him with everything so I know that whatever comes at the end will be for the greater good. Yes, I was angry with rage when I saw him get rid of that demon in Lazarus Rising, but now I’ve come to realize that so far his motives were to save the world and not become evil. He lost Dean. He couldn’t find a way to save his brother after a full year of searching. But still, he wants to fight for the good side. I adore him more and more everyday….

    As for Dean, right now all he can do in order to follow what his number one priority has been for over 20 something years (protect Sammy) is to be there when Sam needs him, putting a lot of emphasis on the word ‘needs’. Sam’s not 6 anymore, and he’s come due to realize that one way of helping the world from the evil they unleashed after Dean made his deal is by using his powers. Sam might not always need Dean the way he used to, but the support those two give eachother is a strong power they need in order to stay alive.

    Well, that was a short comment. Again thank you for this Sam insight. I sure hope this will enlight those fans who have been wondering about Sam for a few weeks.

    Have a great week!

  • Muse

    Excellent analysis Alice and quite frankly, what some of us have been saying all along.

    The only point I would suggest a slightly different interpretation for, would the complaint that Sam had no follow-through for John’s death. Obviously less screen-time was devoted to it but I think that was because it had less impact on Sam than it did on Dean. Not that Sam loved his father less but that he had already received some closure with his father before John died. John and Sam finally seemed to have made some peace in Dead Man’s Blood. John also had not been a huge presence in Sam’s life for over four years so the day-to-day impact of his death would be much less for Sam than for Dean whose entire world revolved around John for all those years.

    Yes, Sam had some guilt over his last argument with John but I think that was dealt with in the Clown episode and sudden desire to continue hunting to honor his father’s memory. A point that was made a couple of other times during season 2.

    I guess it just would not have been believable to me if Sam had curled up into a ball in the back seat of the Impala to openly grieve for John for multiple episodes while Dean continued to spin out of control. His priority was Dean during that time. I appreciate that the writers did a fine and realistic job showing how the two brothers’ relationship with their father was different and therefore the impact of his death played out differently.

    Anyway once again thanks for the very interesting look at Sam and his fascinating character development.

  • Missy

    Awesome analysis, Alice, and largely it’s what I’ve been seeing as well.

  • kim

    I enjoyed reading your reflection on Sam in season 4. Thank you for taking the time to compose and share your thoughts on the issue.

    I think you raised several good points in addressing the concerns of Sam fans. It is unfortunate that some have taken your comments as proof that our concerns were unwarranted or over reaction, because I don’t think that was your intent.

    Like you, I hope to find out a lot more about Sam and his motivations the remainder of the season.

  • twinny

    Thank you very much for the extremely insightful analysis of Sam’s character! That was very well thought-out, and I deeply appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into writing this article and sharing your thoughts with us.

    I fully agree that Sam’s character has changed quite subtly and continually over the past three and a half seasons though at his core, he is still the kind hearted sweet soul he used to be. I adore him to bits and pieces for still being able to preserve that inherent goodness and hope for a better world deep in his heart.

    After watching ‘Criss Angel…’ I got the feeling that he still craves normalcy, and still hopes they have a chance to win the war, even though he slowly seems to accept that this would probably require him to sacrifice himself one way or another, that he won’t live to see the end of it.

    Furthermore, I believe he doesn’t omit the truth purely because he fears Dean’s reaction towards him using his powers but at least equally fears that ultimately Dean would never let him go through with a plan that includes risking himself, possibly for ever forfeitting his own redemption.

  • Rachelly


    Thanks so much for taking the time to look at Sam’s character over the 4 years Supernatural has been running. It was so helpful to see him through your eyes. You explained his development so well and completely.

    It was also nice to have it acknowledged from an objective observer that this first half of the season has been light on Sam and the brothers’ relationship which has been distant this season. My love for Supernatural has been for both brothers (Sam and Dean) and their relationship and missing 2/3 (Sam and the relationship) has made this season less enjoyable for me. I adore that you hold out hope for the 2/3 to return thus completing the “package”! I shall join you in clinging to that hope!

    I still struggle with the subtleness of Sam’s character over all and particularly this season, even though it may be considered masterfully done. While subtlety can be an enjoyable tool in story telling, drawing the viewer in, it can also cause the viewer to become disconnected to the character if it is not balanced with revelation.

    This season there have been many revelations regarding Dean and I feel like I know him fairly well…how he’s feeling, what he’s thinking, and I have been drawn into his character through those revelations. Sam, not so much. I long to know Sam that well too!The subtlety of his character development has masked him almost too much for me. I don’t really know him, what he’s feeling, thinking..so it is hard to understand why he would make such a jump to embrace his powers knowing where they could lead (Chris Angel). Having it all made clear in one eppy having no lead in along the way made it a leap I couldn’t make with Sam (sympathetically, anyway).

    I want to know both boys well, dive into their characters, feel what they feel, know what they know -maybe be kept in the dark for a bit, but not so long as to lose sense of either character overall. Then by knowing them, I can see better why they do what they do, change as they change and continue to be drawn in.

    I hope that we’ll be getting more revelations in the upcoming eppys so that we can have the show the way I enjoyed it best-knowing the two brothers well and enjoying their close relationship as they face the dark forces together. And of course, I hope going forward into next season (crosses fingers) the balance of subtlety and revelation will continue!

    Again, thanks for doing the character study of Sam and for offering your insights and encouragements in regards to him. You have a new fan in me and I shall be watching to see what else you have to say about our favorite Winchester boys!

  • Sarah

    Tina, I wasn’t aiming that comment specifically at Sam fans. It was a general comment about things Ive read about both characters over the 4 series. I’m not saying people shouldn’t express concern or opinion, I was simply pointing out that its nice to read something that isn’t just full of complaint for a change.

  • Sumeeta

    I think Sam’s self-loathing really started in Born Under a Bad Sign (S2). In the scene where Sam and Dean watch Sam kill that hunter, you see Sam internally begin to change. This is all before Sam’s death, Dean’s deal with the Crossroads demon and Dean’s death. Sam had known from S2 what he is truly capable of, so by the time he reached S4, there was nothing left for Sam to feel or even react to.

  • Missy

    How could we watch Sam begin to change in that scene from BUABS? That was Meg, wasn’t it?

  • Here is the actual quote from Sera Gamble’s interview with TV Guide published today. It should clear up once and for all whether Sam knows about Mary’s deal.

    Does Sam know what his mother did?

    Gamble: Dean told Sam all about the events he witnessed in “In The Beginning,” yes. We alluded to that in the following episode.

  • Lieo

    That was a great analysis!
    I totally agree with everything. My understanding of the change of Sam was that Sam thought Dean was gone forever, even though he tried so hard to get him back.
    When Sam died, there was no question, Dean WAS going to get him back.
    But after that whole “Take me! Let Dean go!” speech from Sam he realized that it wasn’t going to happen.

    Point being:
    “I told you to take care of her, not jazz her up!”
    “Dean, I thought it was my car!”

    Once again, very good analysis 🙂

  • kk

    Ah, I see I missed this when it was published.

    One of the big problems I’m having is that with regards to Sam, much of what we know about him comes from interviews with the writers and analysis like this. People have to -explain- what’s happening because it’s not on the screen. The above Sera Gamble quote is the perfect example. We aren’t seeing Sam’s story on the screen, we’re being told about it afterwards in interviews because it’s all taking place offscreen. And that’s poor storytelling, poor writing and does a disservice to both Sam and Sam’s fans (And even fans who don’t have a preference between the boys.)

    As someone else pointed out elsewhere, when there’s a Sam-centric episode, at least Dean is still a major part of the plot, front and center in the story. When there’s a Dean-centric episode, Sam disappears (sometimes literally, see Family Remains and In the Beginning).

    Sam does take a backseat to Dean and has for almost this whole season so far. And I really don’t trust the writers to fix that. Based on the last 14 episodes, I don’t have the same faith you do, Alice. Why would anything change in the last third of the season? It breaks my heart to say it because I love the show a lot, but I’m really actually mostly hating this season. There are bright spots, but I don’t see the writers doing a sudden 180 and fixing the things they’ve been falling down on for the entire season. As someone else said, it’s too little, too late. They should have found a better way to balance things all along– that’s the hallmark of decent writing. As this article perfectly demonstrates.

  • CharlotteM

    Great analysis!

    Personally, ive enjoyed this season less than the first 3, mainly because the dean-sam relationship is slowly but surely falling apart, and that to me is just heartbraking! It’s now much easier to understand dean’s character rather than Sams-probably due to the fact that season 4 focuses more on dean.
    The big question for me is, what can we expect from Sam now that theres a possibility that he will turn against dean or go bad? We’ve already seen the brothers pit against each other in ‘sex and violence’ and i have a bad feeling that this season’s finale will be focused on Sam vs Dean rather than Sam&Dean Vs Lilith/evil things.

    I completely agree about ‘mystery spot’- that was a really powerful episode and really shook sam’s character to the core! It was dissapointing to see it just left like that.

    I really hope that this season won’t dissapoint! Lets hope we get to see Lilith choking on her own black smokeness 🙂 Fingers crossed! Here we goooo….

  • Turrin

    First off Great analysis. Personally i just started watching the show and i watched season 4s current episodes within the spand of two weeks and i can’t really see how people seem to think that this season is focused more on Dean i think its far more focused on Sam if anything. The small Sam scene paint a far bigger picture then the long dean scenes.

    To just throughout a theory here i think its very clear that the ending of this season and possibly the 5th season will be about Sam vs Dean. Dean is quite clearly brought back by the Angels to kill Sam when the time comes. But why would it be so important that Sam die to bring back Dean from hell. The answer is also very clear which is that Sam is the going to become evil very soon which will probably be forshadowed in the episode The Monster At the End of This Book.

    But why is sam so important to the demons and angels the i think this is because lucifer is not a demon like people are thinking he is rather whats sealed behinde the 600 seals is the grace of the orginal angel who has long since died. So how does lucifer bring hell on earth well by some one taking his grace and becoming the new lucifer. Lilth likely thinks she can take Lucifer’s grace for herself, but she is a demon and it will probably just kill her if she does.

    Yellow eyes knew that this would kill any demon and thus tried to create the perfect Human/Demon hybrid host for Lucifer’s grace which turns out to be Sam. Sam was the biproduct of three sins. The sin of his mother to make a deal with the devil to save his father which made his existance possible, the sin of feeding off of demon’s blood, and the sin of his brother bringing him back from hell(which is why Dean bringing him back was so important that and what was said in this anyalisis).

    The ending of this season and possible next will be Sam being willing to take in Lucifers grace so he can use those powers to rid the world of evil like Lilth while Dean attempts to stop him w/o outright killing him. And Ruby is also very obivously the second in command of the time when the Yellow Eyed demon was in control and she is trying to finish his master plan by sending sam in this direction by tempting him with the power to destroy evil.

    Whether Dean kills sam before he takes in Lucifer’s grace, Sam kills Dean and Repents, or whatever the ending is the final battle will be Sam vs Dean over what should be done about Lucifer’s grace(at least in this season).

  • ruben

    Hay just a heads up Sam does not like to be called “Sammy”. Oh and Just to tell you SUPERNATURAL ROCKS!