As always, I am a day late viewing this episode, but that’s alright. Before my viewing, I saw a bunch of mixed reviews when it came to the episode, and for once, I didn’t let it deter me. I knew nothing of what was going to happen, and I didn’t even know the title until I saw some tags on tumblr. So this episode? Totally new and refreshing for me.
I didn’t do a review of last week’s episode, ‘As Time Goes By.’ So, brief recap: In another time-travel episode, Sam and Dean meet their ancestor from their father’s side this time — Henry Winchester. As it turns out, the Winchester side of the bloodline had their own supernatural connections, which makes all the allusions to Cain and Abel, make a lot of sense now. The Winchesters are basically elite from the get-go, as the Men of Letters, and Dean and Sam were meant to be the successors. Instead, they become hunters, the more “primitive,” and Campbell counterpart of the whole operation. Long story short: this not only affirms the whole bloodline thing we’ve been hearing about for the last eight seasons, but it also gives another Sam is more like John, and Dean is more like Mary comparison, which made me really happy.
Anyways, this most recent episode is a somewhat continuation of this, where we find out about the Judah Initiative, which is another ancient group of do-gooders working with/for the Men of Letters. Basically, Hunters made of Rabbis during WWII. And the Thule Society, is the Nazi-counterpart and therefore bad guys. All in all, good, creative episode as a whole. (Obviously, Ben Edlund penned it.) It was very interesting, if not for the slight annoying queer-baiting at the beginning, and the constant ‘college girls = bimbos’ trope that the show tends to do.
But I am not here to talk about that! Right now, I am here to talk about Sam Winchester.
I know right? Sam Winchester. Mariel is talking about Sam Winchester in a positive manner.
Alright, so continuing on with the Brains vs. Brawns idea, here we see Sam in his zone. He was leading the episode with his brains, and his curiosity, and that was refreshing to see. I know it is like that for almost every episode of all eight seasons, but there was something different about this.
All of his life, Sam has felt like an outsider. He just wanted to go to school, and go to college and not be a hunter because he’d rather read books than shoot a bow and arrow. And he was always revered as the black sheep because of it. In S3, we see Sam trying to be more like Dean in order to survive in a world where he believed that he is truly alone without his brother. To him, the only way to survive was to become more like him, to become more like a Hunter. And we saw that, really. For the past few seasons now. We saw a revenge-driven, demon-screwing Sam, guilty Sam and no-soul-to-ever-have-guilt Sam. Then we had broken Sam.
Which was all very boring, bad variaties of Hunter Sam. It was like the writers had no idea how to deal with his character, and now they’ve finally found it.
Sam is a Man of Letters while Dean is the Hunter.
Together, they make a perfect team, and that’s how it’s been from the very beginning of this show. Except before, he was just the smart brother. The Winchester geek. This time, he actually belongs in the family in a way that he has never been before. Dean has always known that he had a family because the family he has known his whole life is full of Hunters. And let’s face it: Dean is a Hunter, through and through. He’s always belonged in a family of Hunters while Sam never did. Dean was John Winchester’s right hand man, Sam belonged because he was his brother.
Now he actually has a family line he can be compared to other than the fact that John and him are both revenge-driven psychopaths. (I mean, he’s still a psychopath–he was warming his hands on a burning corpse!) He makes sense within the Dean-Sam dynamic because they’re not only brothers, they’re a partnership. Not only do their skill sets match, but what they like to do compliment each other. Dean will always doing what he does because that is who he is; he needs to always be doing right and saving people. And Sam will always be the scholar, because he is a man the strives for that.
Together, in a world of demons, monsters and Nazi Necromancers, they are the Hunter and the Man of Letters, descendants of the Campell-Winchester line.
And that’s all good.
PS: If the series doesn’t end exactly the same, or similarly to how this episode ended, I may get really upset. Because that was good, man. They find their places in a world that needs heroes in denim, with their own roles to play.