|Promotional photo from Sacrifice|
Sam’s ArcIn The Great Escapist, Sam talked about how didn’t feel worthy as a child and thinks it may be because of the demon blood in him. The big question this season has been why didn’t Sam look for Dean. While we know the superficial answers (he didn’t know where to look, he believed Dean was probably dead, he didn’t have any resources), what’s been missing is the “why” in why Sam chose what he chose. He could have looked at all of those issues (not knowing where to look, etc.) and chosen a different path. Instead he chose a very non-Winchester approach. Could the answer be in Sam’s comment that he never felt worthy? The writers may be drawing a connection between Sam’s feelings of low self-worth with his response, and if I’m right, we may see more of this in the next two episodes.
It makes some sense. Sam has had really bad luck with big choices he has made in the past, and Crowley could have played on Sam’s doubt in himself to convince Sam to back off. It would also work with the question of why Sam never tried to explain his actions to Dean. How do you explain something like that? In looking back at the way this storyline was presented at the beginning of season, it feels a little like retcon, but if this helps up move forward and gives us a credible answer consistent with Sam’s past, the judges will accept it. [OK, maybe not the judges, since this is the Supernatural audience we’re talking about, but this judge will accept it.]
One of the lingering questions around Sam’s series-long arc has been how much of destiny and the demon-blood powers was physical and how much was psychological. Were Sam’s powers really dependent on drinking extra demon blood, or was the demon blood a psychological crutch that allowed him to accept something internal that was repugnant to him and his family? Ruby made comments in Lucifer Rising that Sam had it in him all of the time. I interpreted that as Sam talking about his choices, or destiny, to get to the point where he would free Lucifer. But maybe she was talking about more than that. So what would a Sam free of demon blood look like? Would it physically even make a difference, because despite Azazel’s, Ruby’s, and Lucifer’s attempts, Sam always remained a good person? But even if it’s not really physical, the lifting of this curse off Sam’s psyche could free him up to truly embrace life for the first time.
Dean’s ArcDean started this season back from Purgatory, feeling a disconnect between himself and family, as well as the victims he and Sam would come upon in their hunts. He missed the purity of Purgatory where there weren’t difficult choices. He wasn’t eating, and a connection was drawn between food and choices as he stared at a vending machine. Food has always been associated with Dean – his pie and comfort food are connected to memories of his mother.
Dean is now close to Sam again, he’s cooking up a storm, and Metatron in the previous episode addressed specifically Dean about choices. He told Dean that this is all about choice. While choice has been an integral theme in the show for a while, and likely all of the characters will have some choices to make, my money is on Dean having an especially big and difficult choice coming up. Agree or disagree? Any thoughts on what choice Dean might be facing?
Cas’s ArcThere’s been speculation for a while that Cas’s arc might lead to him cutting off his grace and committing to becoming human. What has been missing up until now was the motivation for Cas giving up his powers. We now know that angels are subject to being programmed and manipulated by other angels. Whereas humans have free will, Cas has been unable to fight against Naomi’s mind-control when he’s not touching the tablet. Now that Crowley has taken the angel tablet away, Cas is once again subject to Naomi’s manipulation, and he could be used as a weapon against Sam and Dean, as well as humanity. If he becomes human, presumably her power to control him would end.
On a side note, I found her comments that Cas never did what he was supposed to do and can’t even die right to be funny. With programmable angels, does that make Cas a virus? Is this storyline reminding anyone else of The Matrix? My memory of Matrix mythology is a little rusty, but would this make Cas Neo or the Oracle?