Monday, January 26, 2015

The Road So Far: Sam Winchester (Part 3)

the entirety of this post will be spoilers. proceed at your own risk.

Today we're continuing our analysis of Sam Winchester, one half of the monster hunting duo featured in Supernatural, starting with Sam's realization that he must be saved. And if not, he's going to turn into a monster and, because of that, he has to die. Not only that, but that his death was ordered by his own father. Ouch.

Sam doesn't focus on that though. He doesn't focus on the fact that his father ordered his brother to kill him. No. Instead he's consumed with what will happen if he becomes a monster, and the safety of those around him if he becomes one. He worries about it to the point that he finds himself agreeing with John. He tells himself, "one day I could become the thing that killed mom and Jess. One day I could be a monster. One day I could kill people I care about. I could become one of the things we hunt." 

This is where Sam's incredible trust in his brother comes into play again. He makes Dean promise to kill him if that happens. If he goes to the dark side. And he does it because he trusts that Dean cares enough about him that he won't allow him to jeopardize the safety of those around him.

Okay. Now I'm going to get really specific and talk about two episodes in which we really see Sam's character the best. 

1. Houses of the Holy. (Season 2, Episode 13)

Houses of the Holy shows us, if nothing else, that Sam has faith. And, by the way he talks about it, we can surmise that he's had faith for a long time. Most likely since before Stanford. He's been praying since before Stanford and that means that he found his faith since before his life looked anything like normal. And it means that he did it on his own.

But more than just finding his faith. He kept it. That's what kept him with Dean. He still believed, even when he and Dean were hunting horrible, twisted monsters, that there was good in the world and that it was worth fighting for. I think part of that faith leads him to believe that if he only does enough good, he'll be safe. If he does enough good, it'll counteract the demon blood. If he does enough good, he won't become one of the monsters he hunts.

This leads into the second episode I wanted to talk about.

2. Born Under a Bad Sign. (Season 2, Episode 14)

Before I get to into depth with this one, I want to talk about the episode in general for a bit. When I was talking about this post with my sister, she argued that it really didn't reflect on Sam at all, being that he was possessed for the duration of it. I disagree. I think that for at least the first half of the episode, up until Dean makes it clear that he won't kill his brother, Sam was in control.

Why I think that is there is no way that Meg could have faked the range of emotion we see from Sam in this episode. Sam is horrified by what he's done. He's horrified. He begs Dean to kill him, even before they knew what was happening. He wants to admit at the end of the episode that he's responsible for that hunter dying. We also have evidence that demons can let their hosts take control for periods of time, so what if Meg did let Sam take the reins?

Anyway. Let's just go with Sam was in control for a while at least. 

He wakes up in the middle of nowhere, covered in blood, and he can't remember anything. And then, when Dean shows up, he learns that he's been gone for a week. He knows that something bad happened and he can see himself killing a man. A good man. 

Dean is the one we always see struggle with guilt and is most often credited with having a guilt streak a mile wide. But Sam is exactly the same way. Exactly. He wants nothing more than to help people, as we've seen from the beginning. To know that he's responsible for killing someone? Especially when that someone was a hunter? That, in Sam's mind, was unforgivable.

To Be Continued...


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