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About AwesomO4000

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    Trapped on the Satelite of Love
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    Bugs and spiders, snorkeling, photographing bugs, spiders and creatures seen while snorkeling (as well as various fungi), vegetable gardening, collecting buttons, and knitting.
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  1. Since when have the writers post season 7 backed away from making Sam look like a moron? Dabb isn't immune here. The BMoL arc made Sam look like a moron in my opinion. In my opinion, it says little about the "character" of Sam, because the writers are trying to change the character of Sam. In my opinion, if they would leave the Sam's characterization alone and let him be Sam, then there wouldn't be a problem. I like Sam as Sam, not as trying to be something he's not that organically makes no sense. The same thing happened for me in season 8. The reason I didn't like Sam in season 8 is because he wasn't acting like Sam. Carver tried to change him into something else in order to fit whatever his message was supposed to be ...which I never understood what that was anyway. What: not being codependent is good, but if you're not codependent that means you're a total jerkass? Or at least that's what it looked like Carver's message was to me *shrug.* Anyway that for me is the problem - when the writers try to change Sam in any major way, it doesn't fit and looks awkward. 7 seasons and 14 seasons is too long a time to try to drastically change an established character. Characterization isn't like a 7 year itch where oops guess it's time to mess with the character again for something "new." It's not going to work... It didn't work for Carl in The Walking Dead either (and again it was seven years of character growth they were changing) and it left most fans going "Hell no, that's not what Carl would say / do / think!" ...especially after watching said character grow up for 7 or so seasons and seeing what he was like. An about-face just doesn't track as genuine and looks awkward and like the character is being manipulated for plot. In my opinion, the same thing doesn't happen to Dean as much, because the writers are generally less likely to screw around with Dean's basic personality to further some plot arc they want like they seem to do with Sam. However, even when they do small things that seem out of character for Dean, there are fans who notice and don't like it, so imagine if they did some major changing like they are trying to do with Sam... the results wouldn't fit and would look awkward. I mean if they had given Sam's season 8 storyline to Dean, for example - i.e. that Dean just shrugged his shoulders and said "ehn just didn't bother to look, and Kevin? Kevin who? I'm gonna shack up with this bitchy chick instead" - I think that would've looked pretty awkward on Dean also. It was just a crap storyline, period, and had less to do with Sam's character, because again, in my opinion, that wasn't what Sam should have been acting like anyway (and hadn't really acted like before, or, even if one argued pre-series, at least not for 7 seasons). So yeah, in my opinion, it's not Sam or Jared... it's that the arcs he's being given aren't really character-driven. They are trying to force square Sam into a round hole where he doesn't really fit. If they'd let him have a square hole, it'd be fine.
  2. Dean Winchester: aka Squirrel

    Hmm... I'll have to think more on it, but off the top of my head I can only come up with a couple: Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap maybe. There was also a character named Boonie from China Beach who also fits the bill in my opinion, but it was sort of part of his job - and a way to keep his sanity - that he acted that way. But maybe in a way that is a bit like Dean also. Ditto with Shawn Spenser from Psych. His acting like and enjoying being a nerd is part of how he keeps his sanity. Shawn might even out nerd Dean in that department. While Gus is also attractive and a nerd, he's not an alpha type, in my opinion.
  3. I disagree. I just think they are different people and show things differently. One way doesn't have to be the "right way" while the other is the "wrong way." They are just different. In my opinion anyway.
  4. Spoilers With Speculation

    I agree. I wasn't implying that. I was just saying that that would certainly be a plot reason why the writers would want all of the AU people still in the bunker rather than out on their own. And making them hunters would support the war against hunters idea by Michael... I wouldn't necessarily think Dean would get hurt if Michael made sure he wouldn't. The point wouldn't be to hurt his vessel, but to emotionally damage / crush Sam so that if Michael wanted to take Dean over again (if he never left) or use Sam as a crushed pawn to make Dean say yes, again (if he did really leave) - let me back in or I kill Sam, too - an emotionally devastated and/or wounded Sam would be less likely to fight back to stop it or tell Dean not to do it. I'm saying from a story perspective, this would be a reason why all of these people are still in the bunker besides just the "Sam is an awesome leader" angle (when originally they were out of the bunker). And the show does sometimes like it's irony and or "here's a hard lesson" bent. And Sam losing all the people he was leading would be one of those hard lessons the show seems to enjoy giving. I wish I could be more optimistic, but I've had too many seasons of Sam getting burned somehow. Even with all of this "Sam is a good leader" stuff, I'm just sitting here waiting for it to be a set up for it all to come crashing down. I mean the story as it is already isn't a positive for Sam himself really. Am I supposed to be happy for leader Sam, because he doesn't seem all that happy to me?
  5. Spoilers With Speculation

    Then that would explain why the hunters all still have to be in the bunker and listening to Sam. All the better to have them in position to make maximum crushing emotional impact if Michael decides to reemerge and take them all out. Sure he could've taken them out earlier, but Michael has time, and how much worse and emotionally crushing would it be for Sam to devote all of this time and energy and getting to know them only for it all to go boom! ?
  6. Ratings And Scheduling: I Can't Do This Alone

    For me the reason this more likely is the case is because the "story" in my opinion is not organic. There have been times when the story has been more reliant on Sam in the past and it has worked fine for me: season 2, 6, and the beginning of season 10 for example. Maybe season 4 as well, though for me there were some missing elements that didn't make it work so much.*** However when the story is not organic - and I give season 8 and the second half of season 9 as an example - it doesn't work for me at all. I get that for others, that the storyline is focusing on Sam is the problem, but for me the reason this storyline isn't working isn't that it is focusing on Sam, but that the story that is focusing on Sam doesn't fit his character in my opinion. And weirdly, the writers themselves seem almost to be I don't know maybe unconsciously (?) sensing this, because the writing almost seems to be undermining the "plot"... And by that I mean the insistence that Sam is somehow this natural leader seems to be undermined by the writers not being able to help themselves in writing Sam making bad leadership decisions that I don't think it even makes sense for him to make - And this isn't surprising, because I predicted that that would happen a few weeks ago. For me that is more the problem than the fact that the plot is focusing on Sam. I think the plot could focus on Sam fine if it was a plot that actually made sense for his character, in my opinion anyway. A similar example would be the beginning of season 10... despite Dean being a demon being a main concern, the way it was set up - with demon Dean not being written as a bad guy, but as just doing what he wanted the focus was on Sam looking for Dean, and this worked for me just fine, because the things Sam was doing while looking for Dean, though while questionable and uncomfortable, made sense for his character to do and was connected to Dean, so I was actually invested in his story. Since Sam wanting to be leader makes no sense to me based on his character previously, I am not connecting so much to this storyline for Sam. I keep waiting for him to be Sam again. And I miss that Sam. *** I think that the reason season 4 didn't work as well for me was because it didn't focus on Sam enough. The attempt to keep it a surprise and to focus on Dean's reactions to the plot even though the plot was focused on Sam were for me a mistake. I think that with how big the story was, the point of view should have focused more on Sam, and I actually think that the story would have worked better if it had focused more on Sam in terms of point of view, not less.
  7. I thought that Bobby's "I know you're pissed. And I'm not making apologies for what he's done, but he's your--" was pretty close to the bolded part... But Bobby didn't get to finish, because Dean cut him off and launched into his "Sam's not my brother" argument. We also don't know what it was that Bobby said before we faded into the scene either. It very well could be that the writers had an agenda here. I don't know. All I'm saying is from what I saw of the argument and the fact that Bobby wanted to save Sam and was frustrated with Dean could have - in my opinion - reasonably lead to the poor choice of words on Bobby's part. As I said, people are human, and men don't always do the touchy-feely, hold your hand and provide the perfect thing to say response when they're worried and frustrated. So I didn't take any of it as a sign that Bobby doesn't like Dean or doesn't care about Dean. I took it as "oh, two men are arguing and saying stuff they likely shouldn't, because "issues" and men-reasons... yeah pretty much typical." And I'm not saying women don't do similar things, because boy, do they sometimes... It's just typically different and about different things and is often more passive-aggressive than in-your-face like this was. When it comes down to it, I weirdly seem to understand the guy stuff - like that Bobby / Dean exchange - almost more myself. I could see here they were both coming from there. I'm not sure which thing you are referring to here as I can honestly say that I don't remember it, so I can't agree or disagree. Okay, wait. Are you saying that just because Sam has a different opinion of how he sees family than Dean does, this makes him wrong and means that he doesn't see Dean as family? Or that because at a time when he was angry, and he wasn't seeing how family ties was a good thing at that moment in his life, that he was saying Dean wasn't his family. I actually think that that says that he was acknowledging that Dean was his family and that that was part of the problem. And the "The Purge" speech, as awful as it was (and in my opinion, considering that it was a Carver era episode, was setting Sam up to be the "bad brother" again as carver was want to do for angst purposes) had nothing to do with family, in my opinion. Dean literally said that he wasn't sure that Sam was his brother anymore... if he ever was his brother to begin with. That's not saying I see family differently. That's saying I'm not sure he's my family at all and maybe he never was. For me that's an entirely different thing. And that's not even getting into how Dean so easily said "Bye Sam, see you never," in "The End," because at least that was acknowledging that there had been a connection there, but that Dean was now breaking it. Dean's rant in "Lucifer Rising" was trying to question their entire history, and denouncing everything Sam tried to do and all Sam went through trying to save Dean. Basically, in my opinion, it was on the level of the "The Purge" speech but in reference to family with an added element of disowning Sam, because just like Sam was questioning Dean's raison d'etre in "The Purge" speech, here Dean was questioning Sam's entire family loyalty. Different subjects, but same condemnation, in my opinion.
  8. In my opinion, it depends on the way you look at it. Dean might be Bobby's favorite, but does that mean he's supposed to just write Sam off, because Dean says so? What was Bobby supposed to say - "yup you're right, Dean. Sam treated you badly, so by all means disown him and let him destroy himself. I'll just sit here and support that." I'm pretty sure that when Dean decided he was less angry, he probably wouldn't have appreciated that attitude from Bobby. He likely would've said "why didn't you talk me out of it, Bobby?" My own opinion coming up here: I know I'm going to get blasted for this, but if Sam had said that Dean wasn't really his brother and that he probably never was and never really cared about their family anyway, then yeah, in my opinion, Sam would've deserved some of Bobby's "tough love". Did Bobby even know the extent of Sam and Dean's physical fight? Because if he didn't, then in my opinion, he did have some reason to think that Dean was maybe just acting like a brat by saying that Sam wasn't his brother anymore, likely never was anyway, and whining - yet again - about Sam leaving for college. Dean saying Sam never wanted to be part of their family was pretty harsh considering all the crap Sam went through trying to save Dean from the deal in the first place. Sure Sam was acting like a jerk right then, but Sam had very much wanted to save Dean, and it devastated Sam that Dean died... and being that Bobby was actually witness to that, he would know. Bobby thought that Sam was in imminent danger. The "tough love" wasn't on Dean's behalf, but to try to get Dean to save Sam... and if it meant hurting Dean's feelings momentarily to save Sam, then that was a strategy Bobby was willing to take, and it's not one that I can really blame him all that much for. Bobby could have time to smooth things over and make it up to Dean after Sam was saved, but if letting Dean just sit and brood meant that Sam might go off the deep end while that was happening, Bobby wasn't willing to take that chance. He thought getting Dean to "suck it up" and go after Sam was the best way to try to save Sam - and if the angels hadn't interfered, Bobby would have been correct - and he was frustrated that Dean couldn't see that... And yup, Bobby lost his temper, and yelled, and was harsh about it, but he's a man... and men do that sometimes when they are worried and frustrated. People are human, and don't always choose the best way to do things. And men don't always take the time to calm down and reason out their feelings in charged situations... they just don't. I'm not going to forever ding Bobby for not growing lady parts (TM Bobby) during that scene. While not being rough to Sam's face, Bobby was shown to have been very much open to the idea of sacrificing Sam to stop the apocalypse by using him as a bomb. Just because someone isn't rough to someone's face, that doesn't reflect how they really feel about them necessarily. And yes, he later wanted to save Sam as I said above, but I don't know if I could see Bobby suggesting to use Dean as a bomb. Bobby also doesn't seem to know Sam really all that much. I think Bobby is lucky Sam really loves him, because if I were Sam, and Bobby had thought a sociopath version of me was actually me for over a year, I would've been a bit hurt and ticked off, myself.
  9. This doesn't even make sense to me, because Soulless Sam wasn't like Dean, so either the showrunners sold Jared a bill of goods, or he wasn't really meaning it like it sounded. And of course, as soon as Sam got his soul back, everything went back to being the way it was, so again, none of that makes sense to me. I've also seen it said before that Jared is more interested in only his own storylines and doesn't care so much about Jensen's, but Jensen is more concerned for what happens with Sam... I don't believe that either, since as far as I've seen Jensen talks about how purgatory was one of his favorite arcs even though that arc completely threw Sam under the bus, so claims that Jensen would never let Sam's character be trashed - as I've seen - went out the window for me with those comments, because Jensen didn't seem to care what the purgatory / Benny arc meant for Sam's character. So other than the fact that I think both of them have a healthy concern for their own place in the show, I wouldn't presume to know the dynamics of their personal relationship or friendship with each other, since I am not privy to any of that. My issue with what Dean said to Sam in "The Mentalists" had less to do with the words than the situation. Dean pretty much talked Sam into working the case with him by saying that they could just work the case... then when Sam agreed and did that - and in my opinion Sam was being pretty reasonable and personable - Dean complained that Sam wouldn't give him more, was annoyed that Sam had the nerve to be angry about being lied to, and told Sam he was acting like a bitch. "You can be pissed all you want, but quit being a bitch," is, in my opinion, a bit contradictory. And is also an example for me of Dean telling Sam that he does feelings wrong also... And the writers seemed to agree since they had Sam capitulate and agree with Dean. In my opinion, the Ruby / Sam / Dean thing was more complicated than that. In my opinion, Sam going with Ruby so he didn't have to feel like "the little brother" was partially due to Sam's guilt. Whenever he was with Dean he was reminded of what Dean had sacrificed to save him by doing that big brother thing. When he was with Ruby, Sam didn't have to be directly reminded of that, and he had some control in that he could actually do something to decide his own fate. He didn't feel like the "little brother" by being reminded of how much Dean had sacrificed for him, and that he [Sam] had had absolutely no say at all in Dean's decision. I think there was likely also some resentment - whether conscious or not - for Dean having been partially the cause of Sam's guilt in the first place, too, and the fact that Dean left him (Sam) all alone to deal with everything... and that it was a conscious choice on Dean's part to leave Sam that way.*** Sam dying and leaving Dean alone was not his choice, but Dean chose to die and leave Sam alone.*** *** In Sam's mind, because even though we were privy to Dean's reasoning (or lack thereof, considering his state of mind) and why he made the deal, Sam was not, since he was dead at the time. That's just my reading on that. I understand if others don't agree. We've gotten supportive Sam on Dean's behalf lots of times throughout the series. It wasn't maybe explicitly related to Dean's leadership skills - well not to Dean himself, although Sam was supportive of Dean's leadership skills to Jake in "All Hell... Pt1" - but support for what Dean does for him (Sam), others, and the world in general, I could name probably at least half a dozen times off the top of my head, and there are probably many more than that. And in my opinion, I'm sorry, but "Sam didn't mean it anyway" or "Sam wasn't being sincere" doesn't work or even make sense for the majority of the examples I'm thinking of. If the above is just hyperbole, then nevermind... But it gets old sometimes seeing this claim over and over again when it's just not true, and there's plenty of evidence within the show to show that it isn't true.
  10. Well, except for the fact that he ignored all of the warning signs and joined instead of saying "hell, no" and looking into bad stuff that the BMoL might have been doing which, oh, yeah, included brainwashing his mother and turning her into the Manchurian Candidate. If you mean apocalypse-level consequences, then no, for once a Sam mess up didn't lead to something really, really bad. Which I was grateful for myself. I was tired of Sam being a doom magnet and any mistake he made having dire consequences. He was due one pass just out of statistical odds. At least he's not hearing about how his "bad choices" lead to all the bad in the world happening ever like Castiel did to Sam almost every opportunity he got in season 5. And nary a word about all of Cas' bad choices... except for one passing mention of what he did to poor Anna, which was glossed over even though it really was awful. I admit that some of Castiel's bad choices happened after he was brainwashed, but not all of them. And that Anna thing really could have been a huge game changer in terms of what happened. I think Sam has been supportive of Dean so far, and Jody has also. Some things Dean is just going to have to work through himself though, I think. I admit things could get better, but we still have a ways to go, so I have hope.
  11. The evil guys aren't supposed to be smarter than Sam and Dean... But I actually don't think Michael's plan is that stupid myself. Recently angels have become too easy to kill, and everyone and their Auntie Mable has an angel blade to do it with. If Michael can create a host that is almost impossible to kill if powered by angel grace or an actual angel (for the leaders), I actually think that that's a smart plan myself, but that's just me. I agree the Kaia thing is just stupid, in my opinion, but whatever. Hopefully we won't have to see too much of her in the future. (yeah, I know.) As for Dean, I thought Sam made it pretty clear in the last episode that he thought Dean did the right thing, so if Dean was stupid for saying "yes," then Sam would be stupid too since he agreed that it was the right strategy. Thank you for your answer. I disagree in that I thought that the show made it clear - to me - that at first Dean's judgement was being affected by the mark (and Dean getting physically sick and Crowley telling him he was dying cemented that for me), and then Sam made it clear that he thought that Dean - even affected by the mark - was crucial to their defeating Metatron, and Dean was able to fight through the mark's affects and reason enough to do the right thing, so I didn't see "Dean is wrong" the way you did, but I appreciate your explaining your reasoning. And I compare this to how Sam went off the rails on demon blood, half-killed Dean, and went off half-cocked and convinced he was right. Dean affected by the mark here, in my opinion, was portrayed more judiciously. The mark may have initially made Dean go a bit off-kilter, but it turned out later that his getting out of the room and joining the fight was a good thing, because Dean was still able to reason through it and do what needed to be done... versus Sam on demon blood getting out being a bad thing and Sam not being able to reason through his demon blood affects. Dean's role was crucial to distracting Metatron and assuring his defeat whereas Sam's role was crucial in raising Lucifer. For me the end result has a lot to convey about the message, and for me that message was clear, but I get also where you are coming from. I guess for me, the "you're doing feelings wrong" thing seems less of a ding than "you started an apocalypse," which for me seems like more of a recrimination and "you're wrong" declaration against a character in the end. If the writers think a character is doing something wrongly, it just seems to me that they wouldn't reward that character with positive results and helping to save the world, while a character they think is doing things right, they would have cause an apocalypse. That just seems backward to me. And I guess that's where I'm coming from. And yet in the narrative Sam generally chooses wrong according to the writers - in that his actions cause bad results, usually apocalypses - whereas Dean's gut reactions are generally correct and get the job done. With the biggest example being season 4 - Sam's "big picture" thinking lead to Lucifer being raised. I personally think that the writers of the show admire and prize the "go with your gut" tactic more, myself, since that is the one they usually reward. So I don't think having Dean as a go with your gut guy is an insult in the writers' view myself. I personally prefer a "big picture" tactic... which is one of the reasons I prefer Sam, but I don't think that the writers actually do, myself, or at least I don't see much evidence for it. But that's just my opinion on that.
  12. I'm honestly asking here: how did redeeming Gadreel make Dean look bad in your opinion? And then shown to be wrong both times, in my opinion. Benny wasn't evil, and Sam would do the same thing that Dean did, just like Dean said. So Dean not apologizing was justified by the narrative in multiple ways: Sam lied and Gadreeel helped save the world. And even Kevin getting killed had some good consequences. But this is an old argument that isn't going to go anywhere, because I'm never going to see it.It's just not what I saw when watching the show. I got what I wanted in season 6B and season 7. It was summarily all taken away and worse in the first episode of season 8. I've been waiting since then for Sam to have a lasting, good - in my opinion - characterization ever since. Season 11 came really close, but that didn't last. This current one isn't really it, because I don't want a "Sam as Leader" arc. I like Sam partly because he wasn't comfortable as leader. I don't want Sam to be Dean. If that's what I wanted, then Dean would be my favorite. For me, this is just another subtle dig at Sam, because apparently he wasn't good enough the way that he was, and so has to be fundamentally changed to be more like Dean. In my opinion, no he doesn't, and I wish they would cut it out, because eventually they aren't going to be able to help themselves and it's all going to end very badly and make Sam look bad. Again. Whether it's intentional or not the result is generally the same. When they try to "change" or"fix" Sam - like they supposedly tried to do in season 8 - they screw it up and ruin it. I thought Sam in season 2-3 was just fine, then came season 4. I thought Sam in season 6B and 7 was just fine, then came season 8. I thought Sam in season 11 was just fine, then came season 12. If they would just leave Sam alone, I'd be happy... but they don't.
  13. I think what makes it hard for me to really agree with you here were the almost cruel, I'll call them digs against Sam, that Carver seemed to throw in the narrative that really didn't need to be in there to make the story happen. Abandoning Kevin, complete with "humorous" voice mails from Kevin, abandoning Dean without even a cursory look, complete with Bobby reprimand. The "Sam hit a dog" digs, one from Crowley of all people. Sam trying to murder innocent Benny, in the process letting Dean be knocked out and cuffed to a radiator and then taking off with no warning, leaving Martin to ultimately be killed. And Sam never apologizing for not looking for Dean. Then Sam insisting Dean had to give Benny up all the while making Benny a sympathetic character. And maybe most random of all: what should have been a fairly innocuous story arc - Amelia - included Sam knowingly sleeping with another man's wife, knowing he [Sam] was going to leave her. Why even have Sam do that when previously he wouldn't even consider flirting with another guy's fiancee ...except to make Sam look badly? (I mean seriously, really? Sam has to commit adultery, too? Why? What did that even add to the story?) I just can't see how much of any of that was trying to show Sam in a good light or "trying to do right by Sam." For me, I just find it difficult to believe that anyone - never mind a showrunner - would think any of those things would be in any way a positive thing for a character, so that' what makes it so difficult for me to believe. *shrug* And if those same things had been done with Dean, I can't imagine the claims would be that the showrunner didn't mean for them to look badly. It would be "Dean would never not look for Sam," and "How could they make Dean such a jerk and have him sleep with a married woman?" My opinion on that. All horrendous. I'd much rather Sam had had no arc at all than any of these arcs. Each one made Sam look worse than the last. Well almost. "Sam hit a dog" was the "joke" that kept on giving in a bad way. And the last arc in my opinion wasn't even about Sam, but about Gadreel who was the one who did all of the saving whenever Sam got knocked out, beat up, killed or what have you and who was the one touted in the end as being redeemed. It was an insult, in my opinion how Sam was made to call the being who used his body and violated his mind a "friend," diminishing how awful it was for him to be possessed. And to make it even worse almost, Gadreel was written as misunderstood and abused, and look! he saved people! making him gray rather than evil, so that the audience would agree that he deserved redemption. Imagine if Michael were suddenly given a sympathetic slant and a redemption storyline and Dean had to defend Michael, saying how after thinking about it, maybe Michael didn't really mean him any harm after all while possessing him and that Sam should consider Michael a "friend" who was trying to help... And Dean would learn that being possessed by Michael was somehow a necessary evil after all in order for Michael to get his redemption... except it had nothing to do with Dean himself or Dean influencing Michael in any way... It was all Michael on his own learning that he needed redemption. And then later Dean was written out of the final showdown but Michael in another body got to help save the world. That, for me, would parallel the Gadreel storyline that Sam got, because that's pretty much what happened to Sam in that storyline. And if Dean fans would be happy with that, well, then I don't know what to say, because I can't imagine that would be something they would actually want. I know I wouldn't want that for Dean and would be insulted on his behalf. And I personally don't think that Dabb would do that to Dean they way that Carver did that to Sam. I have no doubt that Michael will remain evil, so that no one will say "see Dean being possessed wasn't so bad after all. What's he so torn up about and whining about?" as many said when it happened to Sam. It is being made obvious that Michael is awful and that Dean suffered, drowning, during his possession, not having Dean learn some lesson about how his being possessed wasn't so bad after all. Again, just my opinion on that.
  14. I tend to be a person who does not consider Soulless Sam to be the same thing as actual Sam, and once Sam did come back in season 6B and season 7, things went back to the way they were before mostly. It was also made clear - to me anyway - that Soulless Sam was not a good person and was actually more of a sociopath. Because sure, it's easier to be "badass" when you don't give a flying f$ck about anyone else. It's much harder to be badass when you have to actually consider the people that you are saving and work around them. And I think the definitive scene for me that showed that in the end Soulless Sam was not actually a true badass was the flashback to when he shot the bartender in "The Man Who Knew Too Much." I considered that more cold and somewhat cowardly rather than badass. Same thing with setting up the husband as unknowing bait in "Unforgiven." From those instances, it appeared to me that Soulless Sam would be the kind of person to grab a civilian as a shield to protect himself... which was pretty much how the Bobby scenario played out in "Appointment in Samarra." I mean it's one thing if you have an Indiana Jones scenario where you shoot the bad guy brandishing the sword at you. It would be another thing if you grabbed the nearest civilian tossed them on the sword to shield you and then shot the bad guy. That loses you your badass points, in my opinion. Actually that loses you all your points, in my opinion. Heh. And Gamble's early season 6 did give us Dean in the Twilight episode where he got to be badass without resorting to those tactics, and in fact doing all he could to make sure he didn't hurt anyone while also killing all the bad guys and saving the civilians. Which Carver also made a bust. Instead of Sam doing the heroic thing and being willing to sacrifice to close the gates of hell, Carver seemed to make it all about Sam being jealous and somewhat suicidal because Dean didn't love him best... In my opinion that pretty much made it worse, not better. And he still didn't try to do anything to fix what obviously didn't work in the first half. He just made Sam even more questionable instead ...and seemed to totally backtrack on what he said he was trying to do in the first place. I'm not going to thank him for that, myself. That just made me more ticked off. Saying that you're trying to show a "mature" decision with one character by supposedly showing him trying to break a codependent bond only works if you don't then make that same relationship more codependent than ever, and then romanticize that. In my opinion anyway. Instead, I'm going to think that was the goal all along, because that makes the most sense to me... which fine if that was going to be your message, but don't make an example of and trash the character you are using as the "bad example" in order to do it, thank you very much.
  15. For me it was more season 8 and 9 that was the problem - and I'll explain below - than 10. I actually didn't mind and even liked much of season 10 believe it or not. As I said, it wasn't really the sidelining that bothered me as much as what Carver did to Sam's character. And Sam for me had a good emotional arc in season 10... I didn't much appreciate Carver having Sam start another apocalypse, but I pretty much expected it anyway, so... Yes, but for me it was the "thought" that was part of the problem with the arcs. With the Amelia arc, it seemed to me like Sam was being set up to be a traitor. There was no attempt really in my opinion to make his break from hunting appear as the right thing to do. If there had been, I don't think that abandoning Kevin would have been thrown in there. Or maybe Sam might have done something meaningful with his time away from hunting. I mean were we really supposed to feel sorry for Sam - rather than think he was just being selfish - that he had to leave behind a maintenance position and that he didn't break up a marriage? It's not like he was working at a homeless shelter to help people or saving orphaned puppies at an animal shelter. In my opinion, the point of Sam abandoning Kevin and hunting was to show that Sam giving up hunting was selfish and bad. And having Benny as a reflection - except being loyal and not letting Dean down - was to further show Sam was "wrong." This is why I didn't buy the "Sam was being mature" thing. Either that wasn't the point to begin with or - again in my opinion - the writers didn't really put that much thought into Sam's arc, because that's not what they were showing onscreen at all. For me, what they were showing onscreen was character assassination, partially so that Benny could shine, and I'd rather they hadn't given Sam an "arc" at all. The Trial arc, too, was set up for failure, since I don't think there was ever any thought that the gates would actually be closed. I have a different opinion about the Gadreel arc, since in my opinion, that wasn't really a Sam arc. It might have been fun for Jared to play, but that's not Sam. That arc in my opinion was actually about Gadreel, not Sam, and for me this was highlighted by the fact that all of the emotional stuff Sam started out with in regards to Gadreel was summarily dropped... after Sam was made to look like a jerk for being angry (I don't buy the "harsh truths" thing, because 1) they were obvious untruths and what Sam legitimately could have been angry about was ignored and 2) they were reversed by the end of the season. And in the end, it was Gadreel who helped save the day and got redemption - so it was about him - whereas Sam's only role there at the end was to parrot that "hey maybe Gadreel wasn't actually so bad after all and look how helpful and what a 'friend' he's being." Otherwise Sam was knocked unconscious and not even present for the big finale - oh except to say that he lied and show himself to be a hypocrite *sigh*. So for me the Gadreel arc was actually about Gadreel. The only thing Sam learned was that Gadreel was actually not a bad guy (which was about Gadreel) and that he (Sam), too would actually have done what Dean did, so what was he really angry about? (which was more about Dean and Dean's actions.) I don't really read writer or showrunner comments, so I can't say. However Carver did appear to be saying to me that Sam was a crappy brother... oh and look here's a cool vampire who is a better brother to Dean than Sam is. Oh and Sam's also a hypocrite, too, and way too "mean to Dean." And in my opinion in a show that's supposed to be about brothers, and where their relationship is supposed to be the show's bread and butter, that's pretty much one of the crappiest things you can do to a character, in my opinion. And this is probably a good example of why, for this Sam fan anyway, (and to be clear I also like Dean, just not as much as Sam) you may not understand my position. I hated "The Raid" and didn't think that it was a pro-Sam episode at all. I saw it as setting Sam up to be shown as wrong again. Even if the supposed end result is supposed to be a good thing... I don't see it that way. I liked Sam the way he was, so a premise that the way Sam was was just lazy and or not living up to his potential is just another way to subtly insult Sam's character. I think that Dean wouldn't get an episode like "The Raid", because I don't think the writers would show Dean falling for the same shit Sam fell for there. Sam is generally the one shown to make decisions he doesn't think enough about which leads to bad things happening. Dean generally gets to make reckless decisions and be right about it. "The Raid" was just yet another example of the former, in my opinion. So I'm not saying that I'm totally happy with what's happening, but at least right now Sam is actually in the world-saving parts of the show and the show is only subtly dinging Sam's character and I can see where they are thinking that they are doing good things for him rather than outright trashing his character, but for me, any hope of having really good, consistent Sam characterization went out the window when Gamble left. I'm not sure I understand why, since in my opinion, Carver not only didn't give Sam any decent storylines, but he trashed Sam's character in favor of his pets Benny and Gadreel... oh and had Sam start another apocalypse. The only Sam-positive episodes I can recall from his era happened after Carver probably had at least one foot out the door. So mileage obviously varies here. Gamble gave Dean some good storylines. If Lisa and Ben was supposed to be similar to Amelia (which no, in my opinion), he also had the getting Sam's soul storyline, and the Eve takedown. In season 7, Dean had the Dick Roman storyline which included at least one side character - Frank - associated only with him. And through it all, Dean was mainly Dean. There was no "Dean is such a crappy brother a vampire is a better brother than he is" storyline. Sam was appreciative or Dean and said so. Dean was often being acknowledged as important and that what he did was important. You may not have liked Gamble's storylines for Dean, but I don't see them as character damaging as what Carver did to Sam. I also didn't see Kripke's era as making Dean into the "worst brother ever." Quite teh opposite, so so for it's just not the same, and I don't think you can quite understand. It's not the sidelineing that was the problem: it was the character assassination... And I'm not just talking about the stereotypes. Yes, Dean is a horndog and a "sloppy eater," but Sam is prissy and a wetblanket. That wasn't my issue. It's the Sam is a selfish jerk who abandons innocent people to be tortured by demons, abandons his responsibilities, abandons his brother, resents his brother's friends, is "mean" to him when he's only trying to save his life that I resented with a huge side helping with Sam is wrong and starts yet another apocalypse with how wrong he is... And since I found this characterization either deliberate or done out of carelessness and out of character based on Sam's previous character growth, that's the thing that bugged. Considering that there are quite a few fans who liked both brothers before season 8 and 9, but hated or didn't like Sam after season 8 and 9 but still liked Dean, says - to me - that yeah, what was done to Sam in season 8 was worse than what was done to Dean during other times in the series. And for me, it's almost equally as bad if that was a deliberate thing or a neglectful one. One is deliberate character assassination, the other is indifference to the character with little to no attempt to fix it even after it became apparent that there was damage being done.