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The latest episode seemed to have picked up on a point where I seem to part ways with the show, namely the brother`s attitude to the Supernatural.

Recently there seem to be a theme of Dean haaaates them and Sam relaaaates to them (and they always did) anvils, that I find to be taken out of context.

In Roadkill the brothers were faced with a pretty, nah gorgeous woman and Dean didn`t make a move on her once, in fact he seemed to be PMSing in the ep. Whereas Sam did a Roma Downey/J.Love Hewitt/Michael Landon impersonation. The "twist" at the end revealed Molly to be a ghost and that seemed to be suitable explanation. And to a degree it was.

Bloodlust made a point about telling us how Dean has been raised to "hate these things". Which honestly threw me because I never got this big hate-vibe from him before. Does he like ghosts, shapeshifters and wendigos? Clearly not since I`m guessing the Winchesters encountered a lot of them in their days and all evil, killing bastards.
But still I see it more like a soldier, a soldier might hate the "enemy" as a concept or homogenous group or as Dean says in Wendigo "killing as many evil sons of bitches I can find" but do we really think he takes the time and effort to hate on every single one of them personally? Really? Or does he mostly just not give a shit and kills them? The latter seems to be more Dean to me.

Hate is something quite personal to me. Do the Winchesters hate the YED? For sure. Did Dean hate the Shtriga? Good case for it. Shape Shifters in general? Maybe a bit. Meg the Demon? I`m voting yay. But that doesn`t mean he hates on every Tom, Dick and Harry ghostie they encounter.

And that`s where Roadkill went overboard to me. It seemed awfully personal with him. So okay, he was annoyed at having to deal with her and uncomfortable and possible asking why the fuck she couldn`t move on by herself and everything was shown through her slightly distorted view of the boys but holy crap, subtlety is not for little men. I don`t mind him being cold and brusque, it`s not out of his character but like a real person he usually has reasons for being at his most jerkish. Like for example with the father in Cspwdt.

And Sam, I really don`t think growing up Sam was a big political activist for the rights of ghosts and werewolves. :) He wanted freaking out of this life, I hardly imagine he did give much thought to the evil entities out there, other than "why the hell must WE hunt them?" That`s not so much viewing grey as not liking to look at the black. :)
He didn`t have any problems with popping anything in the first Season, other than the human Max and Roy. There was where the brothers had a difference in thinking but not in the "evil can be good"-side of the equation. That never ever came up before Bloodlust.

Does Sam relate to the Supernatural NOW more than Dean? Of course he does. And with good reason. He fears an inherent "otherness" in himself. It started with the visions and has ended with the DENSITY now. So he is desperate to see goodness in some of them, especially those who once were good people like Molly or those like Lenore who prove that nothing is written in stone.

That is a recent personally motivated development though, I don`t view it as a fundamental philosophy. And really, the guy`s mom was TOASTED over his head when he was a baby, hence he was screwed out of a Mom and his childhood was nomadic, centered on hunting beasties. What on god`s green earth should have motivated Sam to have sympathies for them in the past?

The vampires in Bloodlust introduced a new rule in the show`s universe: beasts can rise above their nature. And that was a lesson for both brothers since Sam changed his mind about vampires (and it could have been the simplest ruse there) a couple of hours before Dean. Both demanded proof, both needed to see something with their own eyes to believe. And both accepted it.

Maybe I have wildly distorted views but I don`t think someone can even break out of a black-and-white mold if they never did some navel-gazing in that regard. Starting to see shades of grey means to me that you were knowingly looking at things in black and white before. Not simply not giving it much thought one way or another. Or otherwise put, if someone comes out of a completely dark room, I wouldn` t say they have finally opened their eyes. :)

Comments

( 13 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
marinarusalka
Mar. 17th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Well, the concept of non-malevolent ghosts was introduced as early as "Home", and then immediately reinforced in "Asylum." And while Mary's ghost might've been viewed as a special case, since she had compelling reasons to help the boys, the patients in "Asylum" had every reason to be angry and violent, and yet they weren't -- they were harmless and even helpful. This is even more striking when you consider that these guys were all criminal psychotics when they were alive. (Hey, maybe Ellicott had cured them after all! *g*)

In both cases, it was Sam who realized that the apparently evil spirits weren't really evil, so it seems pretty clear that he was open to the idea from the beginning. Which makes sense to me -- before this season, he was never as dedicated to hunting as Dean was, so he didn't have ingrained habits of thought to overcome.

I don't think Dean has a special, individually-tailored hatred for every evil thing out thee, and nothing on the show has ever suggested that he would; he hates them as a group. His reaction to Molly didn't seem specifically personal to her -- I'm pretty sure he would've reacted the exact same way to any ghost, male or female, with whom he was suddenly forced to interact as if it was a living person.

Starting to see shades of grey means to me that you were knowingly looking at things in black and white before. Not simply not giving it much thought one way or another.

I disagree, I think lack of thought is the leading cause of seeing things in black and white. Once you start thinking even a little bit, the greys start jumping out at you. But that can be threatening and uncomfortable for a lot of people, so they cling to the black-and-white view. I think Dean is in that position regarding the supernatural right now.

Or otherwise put, if someone comes out of a completely dark room, I wouldn` t say they have finally opened their eyes. :)

Maybe not, but you could certainly say with perfect accuracy that they've finally seen the light. :-)
astri13
Mar. 17th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
In both cases, it was Sam who realized that the apparently evil spirits weren't really evil, so it seems pretty clear that he was open to the idea from the beginning. Which makes sense to me -- before this season, he was never as dedicated to hunting as Dean was, so he didn't have ingrained habits of thought to overcome.

In both instances I thought it was because Sam was more connected to the spirit world due to his psychicness, like an instinctual feeling those particular ghosts meant no harm.
I could see a "better safe than sorry" approach with Dean where he is less prone to give something the benefit of the doubt since he knows how quick that can cost you your life.

His reaction to Molly didn't seem specifically personal to her -- I'm pretty sure he would've reacted the exact same way to any ghost, male or female, with whom he was suddenly forced to interact as if it was a living person.

I just couldn`t place his over-annoyed vibe. Maybe it was because I knew she was a ghost from the bloody start and I didn`t need the constant drum-beat how something is off. I was like: she is a ghost, you don`t like it, get the fuck over it and get some pills for the cramps. Or take one of Sam`s. *g*

I just felt the twist got hammered into me and it just wasn`t necessary, really screwed with my enjoyment of the episode.

I think Dean is in that position regarding the supernatural right now.

I just have the feeling he just now finds some evidence that there even can be good supernatural and I felt he is pretty okay with taking it in stride. Not spectacular but okay.
I just never felt he developed that strict of a black and white concept in the first place. More cynical due to having more experience with the black and hardly seeing any benign forces, maybe human Psychics or the likes.
marinarusalka
Mar. 17th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
In both instances I thought it was because Sam was more connected to the spirit world due to his psychicness, like an instinctual feeling those particular ghosts meant no harm.

I think that's true, but for me the crucial point is not how Sam learned that the ghosts meant no harm, but how he reacted to learning it. He wasn't resisntant to the idea, it didn't bother him, it didn't seem to require him to re-evaluate his world-view or to struggle with accepting this new information. Whereas Dean is definitely resistant and bothered, IMO. I don't think he's "okay with taking it in stride" at all. He said straight out at the end of "Bloodlust" that he wished they'd never taken that job because it fucked everything up for him.

I think Dean really, really hates the idea of non-evil supernatural beings. I think he'd much rather they all be evil so that he could kill them without having to worry about figuring out their status first. So whenever he's faced with a counter-example, it's going to piss him off.
astri13
Mar. 17th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
He wasn't resisntant to the idea, it didn't bother him, it didn't seem to require him to re-evaluate his world-view or to struggle with accepting this new information.

Which I see partly in him being made aware of his weirdness way back when the visions started and were confirmed in "Home". In his normal life he initially resisted the visions and he still fears them but it also makes him more open to the supernatural world. Generally he seemed to have the same "kill them all" attitude Dean had and with pretty good reason.

I don't think he's "okay with taking it in stride" at all. He said straight out at the end of "Bloodlust" that he wished they'd never taken that job because it fucked everything up for him.

Not exactly okay as in being cool with it but I felt he is doing okay with grudgingly accepting it. I mean he could be like Gordon whom you could present with twenty vampires who spend the last hundred years saving puppies and orphans with dirt smeared cheeks and he would still wanna whack them. :)

Also he hasn`t exactly had that much experience with the good side of things. The only good vampires they ever met were also the second vampires they ever met. I just don`t think he ever gave much thought to the idea that there can be nice beasties so now that he is confronted with it it`s novel and annoying. It`s not so much having a strict opinion on a certain topic than having had no opinion at all previously. Less "There is no Good" than "Good? Really? The fuck".

And I agree it would make the job much easier if he doesn`t have to do lots of figuring out first so he prefers the clean-cut-ness.

He said straight out at the end of "Bloodlust" that he wished they'd never taken that job because it fucked everything up for him.

I felt like the ending was supposed to be Dean or us the viewers discovering shades of grey in their world but for me the whole episode was just a play on "black can be white and white can be black" and that was the revelation they/Dean took out of it.
marinarusalka
Mar. 17th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
Generally he seemed to have the same "kill them all" attitude Dean had and with pretty good reason.

I think Sam's pre-series attitude was more "ignore them if at all possible" than "kill them all," but even if you're right, I don't see why it should matter now. Sam has been aware of the existence of non-evil supernatural beings for well over a year, aware of his own supernatural status for longer than that. Even if he used to have a "kill them all" attitude once upone a time, it's long gone at this point and no longer an issue for him. One way or another, Sam has reached an acceptance that Dean hasn't reached, and he reached it way back in mid-season one. The issue is no longer a struggle for him the way it is for Dean.

Not exactly okay as in being cool with it but I felt he is doing okay with grudgingly accepting it.

Well, I felt that that's exactly what he was doing with Molly. He saved her twice, he risked his life to help her, but he wasn't about to be nice to her. That's kind of the essence of Dean -- he'll be an asshole to you, but he'll still help you.

I felt like the ending was supposed to be Dean or us the viewers discovering shades of grey in their world but for me the whole episode was just a play on "black can be white and white can be black" and that was the revelation they/Dean took out of it.

Well, whichever shade you want to paint it, the important point seems to be that "supernatural =/= evil." And if we look at Molly specifically -- well, she's not grey at all, is she? She was a good person in life, and an innocent spirit in death, with no desire to hurt anybody. She was a lot more white then Lenore, who'd still eat people if it was safe. But for Dean, who'd spent his life seeing all the supernatural world as black through and through, seeing Molly as either gray or white would be equally problematic.

astri13
Mar. 17th, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC)
One way or another, Sam has reached an acceptance that Dean hasn't reached, and he reached it way back in mid-season one. The issue is no longer a struggle for him the way it is for Dean.

I agree with it, it`s not an issue for Sam now. I was more adressing the sentiment I`ve seen in some metas/postings that has always been Sam`s inherent POV on the issue. Or something that came from being away at College as a place of liberal thinking. Whereas I see it as a believable in-show-development. He has been given reason to feel kindred with them so he does.

That's kind of the essence of Dean -- he'll be an asshole to you, but he'll still help you.

I liked him snarking to Kat in Asylum with the "Next time you see a haunted house. DON`T GO IN." Hee.

I don`t mind the jerkiness, even liked some of the snarks in Roadkill, i.e. the rather succint "we hunt ghosts" But the little: "I really, really, really don`t like ghosts and I really, really don`t want to be around you, Molly" barbs layed it on too thick for me. Same with Sam soothingly deliver tons of ghostly exposition. It was more a writing problem of anvilliousness. I felt I was still in Tall Tales a bit with the overblown character traits.
andromakhe001
Mar. 20th, 2007 06:58 am (UTC)
She had no desire to hurt anyone but she was. She had caused 12 accidents and 5 deaths running out in the road in front of cars over the years. I just don't think after all this time and dealing with what he's been dealing esp.with regards to Sam he'd still be in that black and white view. I never viewed him as having one to begin with. He worked from experience. They only hunted things that were hurting people.
marinarusalka
Mar. 21st, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
She had no desire to hurt anyone but she was. She had caused 12 accidents and 5 deaths running out in the road in front of cars over the years.

That's true, but I see it more as a practical issue than a moral one. People were being hurt, so Molly had to be stopped. Both Sam and Dean were clear on that -- that's why they were on the road in the first place. They were hunting Molly as much as they were hunting Greeley. But since Molly had no intent, awareness or choice in what she was doing, she can't be considered evil or even morally compromised to any significant degree, IMO. Sam and Dean's disagreement wasn't in what to do about Molly, but in how to interact with her while they did it.

As for Dean, I think at this point, his problem isn't that he doesn't see the grays in these situations, it's that he really, really hates the grays. The grays complicate his existence and annoy him, and he racts accordingly.
aithne414
Mar. 17th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
I think Sam probably wasn't the way he is now when they were growing up. Given that Sam's attitude toward the supernatural in season one wasn't all that much different from Dean's... the way he treated the woman in white, for example... I'd say Sam's increasing desire to probe the reasons why things might not be evil is due to the fact that he now sees himself as somewhat supernatural. So, if he can find sympathetic ghosts and beasties out there, he doesn't have to believe that his supernatural-ness makes him evil.
astri13
Mar. 17th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
Given that Sam's attitude toward the supernatural in season one wasn't all that much different from Dean's.

Exactly. I think his belief in good out there doesn`t mean necessarily good in their hunting prey. More like additional good. The idea that "evil can be good" seems to be a pretty new thing for both of them during the course of the show.

I just don`t think it was Sam`s starting philosophy though, like once upon a time he said: "I hate the way you treat ghosts and I won`t stand for it. I`ll go to College." *g*
dotfic
Mar. 18th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
You raise a good point about hate, and I assumed as you do, that Dean's view is more than of a soldier. He doesn't *personally* hate what he hunts, it's more that killing evil things brings a certain satisfaction, of a job he enjoys doing and knows makes a difference. Saving people, hunting things. Dean's speech to Sam in Wendigo about "You know what else helps..." it seemed like Dean had found a way to channel any negative emotional repurcussions of their way of life into the satisfaction of the hunt and kill.

Which, in itself, isn't exactly the opposite of hate. He has little compunction about killing evil things.

So his discomfort being faced with supernatural beings that aren't evil, makes sense to me.

And I'd ask, had Dean used the word "hate" before Bloodlust? He calls them "sons of bitches" a lot but "hate" may be a new word for season two. Looking at what's been happening between say, late season one, and Bloodlust, something may have shifted in Dean to outright hate. He says that their father taught them to hate those things; but is that a direct quote? Did John sit them down and say "hate them"? Or did he train them rigorously in how to kill them?

In Sam's case, I think it is tied to his growing awareness of his own supernatural nature, and needing to believe supernatural things can be good, and that's something he started doing in season 1 and continues in season 2. I don't know if he gave it any thought before or not; I think for the most part in their childhood Sam was dragged along for the ride and learned what he had to for survival but didn't enjoy the hunting. But it makes sense he maybe didn't give much thought to what Dean and his Dad were killing. Now, he is giving it thought, and with good reason. I'm not sure what your objection to how this shift is portrayed is. I don't think Sam saw it as black and white before; it just was something he had to put up with. He saw the monsters through the lens of Dean and his father, and then went from giving it little thought (and someone else commented in this discussion) to realizing it was more complicated than he'd been taught.
astri13
Mar. 18th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
And I'd ask, had Dean used the word "hate" before Bloodlust? He calls them "sons of bitches" a lot but "hate" may be a new word for season two. Looking at what's been happening between say, late season one, and Bloodlust, something may have shifted in Dean to outright hate. He says that their father taught them to hate those things; but is that a direct quote? Did John sit them down and say "hate them"? Or did he train them rigorously in how to kill them?

I guess that`s me taking it a bit literal but the episode itself seemed rather anvillious and uneven with the actual words "shades of grey" being thrown around - and there not being any - and it is my neverending quest to break the show out of that habit. *g* Because it is hard to discern between "oh, is this a subtle moment, not to be taken to literal?" or "is this one more gigantic anvil hitting me in the head here?" :)

The way that whole end scene in Bloodlust was played threw me because it smelled at retconning a big, hardline Gordon-esque view into Dean - I had not previously seen - just to better offset the great big message there.

For Gordon who had a very personal grudge and lots of experience with vampires to finally encounter a group that rose above their nature would be a powerful revelation. Even if he rejected it. But you can`t make it equally powerful for Dean by retroactively making him a stand-in for Gordon. I did/do believe he has no sympathy lost for the things they hunt but his sudden revelation of hate there seemed unorganic to me.

"It took everything in me not to kill Lenore and her group" or something the likes would have been good dialogue for a has-seen-the-light-Gordon but it felt overly dramatic for Dean to me.
Practically it was another moment of "dial it down a notch or two, writing". Many of those in "Roadkill". :)

I'm not sure what your objection to how this shift is portrayed is.

I was unclear in my post there. I haven`t gotten any objection with his portrayal in the show, I find it to be believable and given the circumstances plausible. I was contestings other metas or comments I have seen stating that Sam had always come at it from seeing shades of grey, always be open to seeing good among their prey. Since the Pilot and possible before. Which I absolutely don`t see. At most he didn`t give it much thought until he was personally motivated to do so.

Neither do I think that being away at College gave him a "liberal" attitude to the supernatural. I`m guessing he tried not to think of it at all at Stanford.
Believing in good doesn`t mean he believed that there could be good Wendigos or Shapeshifters but that there were good forces besides the evil ones.

Politically speaking I don`t see Dean as starting out quite so right-wing and Sam so left-wing as others seem to do. I always believed they were both somewhere in the thick of things for personal reasons and didn`t do much navel-gazing on the nature of evil either way.
dotfic
Mar. 18th, 2007 02:57 am (UTC)
Oops, typo, of course I mean "Dean's view is more that of a soldier."
( 13 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )