This chapter of the Supernatural Un-Book Club compares the scenes from WIAWSNB and Fresh Blood where Sam is challenging Dean’s abnormal behavior. If you would like, please take the time to go and watch these two scenes. I’ll still be here!
Ok are we ready? Is everybody comfortable? Then we’ll begin.
I’m annoyed. I mean really annoyed.
You see, we’re seven episodes into season three, and Dean is shutting Sam and the rest of us out. I’m getting a little tired of his behavior.
Don’t get me wrong, “extreme Dean” is very amusing, what with the Doublemint Twins and the cheeseburgers and all. And his gallows humor makes me smile even through my angst. But we’ve had enough. I want the Dean we all know and love back again.
And don’t even get me started on the Impala scenes! The Impala has always been a place of refuge and redemption. Just look at Born Under a Bad Sign as an example. That was a hard episode for our boys. And yet, afterwards in the Impala, they end up chuckling at the fact that Sam full on had a girl inside him for like a week. It’s a place where the brothers reaffirm their relationship.
But in season three, it seems like every time the boys are in our beloved Impala, there is a fight brewing. Whether it’s Sam shooting the crossroad demon, or Dean trying to order Sam around because he’s older, the Impala has become a place of dissention and deceit.
I’m not OK with this.
Sammy, stay here.
Oh, here we go again. Dean is shutting out Sam and going after Gordon on his own.
You know man, I’m sick and tired of your old stupid kamikaze tricks.
Wait a minute. Is Sam calling Dean out? Finally! If anyone can break down the walls that Dean has built around him this season, it’s Sam.
It’s just I wish you would drop the show and be my brother again.
And yet, as I’m hearing those words, I also hear an echo from last season.
You're my brother.
You know, that's what you said when you snaked my ATM card, or when you bailed on my graduation, or when you hooked up with Rachel Nayv.
Uh, my prom date. On prom night.
Two chapters in the Winchester saga.
On the surface, these scenes are the same. Dean has started acting out of character, and Sam is the one that stops him and questions his abnormal behavior.
And yet, they couldn’t be more different.
For example, in WIAWSNB, Sam is shutting Dean out. Dean is trying to get his little brother to come out with him, celebrate their new “monster-free” lives. And Sam pulls him aside and asks what’s the deal with this new warm and fuzzy Dean. You know, they don’t really talk outside of holidays.
Compare that to Fresh Blood. Here Dean is shutting Sam out. Dean is going to leave his little brother where it’s safe and draw Gordon out on his own. And when Sam starts to protest, Dean first tries to divert him with humor, “I’m more like a ninja” and then, when Sam refuses to be diverted, Dean attempts to just run roughshod over him. “Let’s see, what rhymes with ‘Shut Up Sam’?”
In both instances, however, Sam refuses to give in to Dean’s attempts at charm and diversion, and holds his ground in the argument.
Another difference is in the body language. In WIAWSNB, Sam is holding himself away from Dean. He face is shuttered and his body held apart. You see Dean’s desperation to reach out to Sam. For all of Dean’s “no chick flick” moments, he is actually very physical when it comes to his little brother. Whether Dean’s smacking Sam on the back of the head, holding Sam’s shoulder or face while he checks for injury, or just hitting the middle of Sam’s chest with his hand as a gesture of camaraderie, Dean seems to need close contact with his brother.
And in the scene from WIAWSNB, Dean tries to bridge the gap between him and his brother by reaching out both verbally and physically. He steps forward, and reaches out his hand. Sam, however, steps away from him. A self defense mechanism, no doubt, against a brother who in the past was more likely to use a ploy like this to hit or pinch his little brother. Finally in a last ditch attempt, Dean grabs his brother as Sam passes by to remind him of their common ground in hunting. His attempt is brushed off by Sam.
In Fresh Blood, however, Sam is the one desperate to get his brother to listen. His face is open, showing his sorrow and vulnerability. His gaze rarely wavers from Dean, entreating him to stop and listen to what he has to say. Here it’s Dean who is shuttered. After his attempts to divert Sam fail, he turns away. He can’t maintain eye contact with Sam, and his body is always somewhat turned away instead of facing Sam square-on.
And finally, there is a huge difference in Sam’s message.
You know, I’m not asking you to change. I just, uh, I don’t know. I guess we just don’t have anything in common, you know?
Sam has moved out of Dean’s life, and has no desire to move back in. Sam has gone on with his life, and Dean has very little place in it.
As opposed to:
I mean, I’ve been looking up to you since I was four, Dean. Studying you, trying to be just like my big brother. So yeah, I know you.
I wish you would drop the show and be my brother again.
Dean is distancing himself from Sam, whether it’s intentional or not. And Sam doesn’t want anything to do with that. His big brother is a significant part of his life, and he doesn’t want to lose that. Not now, not ever.
Despite their similar premises, these two scenes are very opposite.
The acting in these scenes, both by Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki is amazing. So very different emotions played by those young men, and yet both scenes are intense and emotional.
And now we’re back at the Impala. Maybe not in the Impala, but an Impala scene nonetheless. (Sam, stop littering!)
It’s my job, right? Showing my little brother the ropes?
Redemption. Reaffirmation. Maybe all isn’t right in the world of our Winchesters, but their relationship is reconnected.
Rock music, a gorgeous muscle car and two young hunters enjoying a beer and a moment of refuge on the side of the road.
I love this show.
Please join us the weekend of July 19th, where Cindy will host a chapter on Croatoan/Hunted. The next week, around July 26th, samidha will present A Very Supernatural Christmas. And on the weekend of August 16th, Kitty will host Nightmare. Thank you Cindy, samidha and Kitty!!
We have some weekends in August and September open for anyone who might be interested in hosting their first chapter, or hosting a second chapter for the book club. If you are interested, please let me know.