Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Sam Question

Last week, MJ asked the question of season six, namely what's up with the Campbells?

A tie-in question, and one perhaps far more important, is what's up with Sam?

After two episodes, I have to admit, I'm not sure. In the first episode, he was—as we said over and over LOL—cold and smug and dismissive and not at all like our Sammy.

In the second episode, he was more on his own, and less weird. He and Dean interacted a little more normally. In fact, when faced with something he couldn't handle, he automatically looked up to his big brother for help. And Dean, of course, leaped right in (okay, after some resistance).

But then they went back to the Campbells, and Sam seemed all too willing to defer to them. In a slightly less creepy way, but...

Why would Sam join them instead of hunting on his own?
I can actually think of some reasons for this. On the one hand, he was on his own for six months when the Trickster made him think Dean was dead, and again when Dean was in Hell, and you'd think he'd prefer it that way. On the other hand, all his other hunting experience—a lifetime of it—has been with someone else. Dad, and Dean, and Ruby. He may hate being alone now, especially after he decided to leave Dean alone, and welcomed companionship, people who are "like him." And supposed family to boot. He was trying to fill the void.

Why would the Campbells want Sam along?
So maybe we can buy why Sam wants to be with the Campbells, but why would they want him? Those people who claim to be cousins are too young to have known Samuel/Grandpa before YED killed him. If they'd been raised in the life, why would they suddenly follow him? Hunters are loners for the most part, that's well established. Whoops, I'm delving too far back into the damned Campbells question. Back to Sam, who freed Lucifer and came back from the cage. Why wouldn't they assume he was still possessed or something and try to kill him? Why wouldn't they hate him for unleashing so much onto the world and making their jobs and lives harder?

Why did Sam reveal himself to Dean?
If Sam truly thought Dean was better off thinking him dead and staying out of the life, he could have stayed that way. He could have killed the djinn, rescued Dean, and hidden or left so Dean never knew he was there. Or he could have sent Bobby to protect Dean and Lisa and Ben, or even just the Campbells. Yeah, Dean would have found out sooner or later, but there were ways Sam could have achieved his stated ends without revealing himself to Dean.

Is it really Sam?
This is the biggest, most disturbing question. I want it to not be Sam. I mean, the smugness during the hug was too reminiscent of Lucifer. I don't want him to just be changed by his possession or his time in the cage or his new life. Change is inevitable, and I don't mind it—but I don't want him to change like this. If it's not Sam, who could it be?

If it's really Sam, what else could be going on?
My favorite theory is that he's either under the Campbells' thumb somehow, or suspicious of them and scared so that he needs his brother. His oddness would be because of that fear, and the agenda he's trying to hide. But I'm sure there are a bunch of other things that could be going on. What's your favorite theory?



Unknown said...

Great post, Natalie and some really awesome theories. I'm flip-flopping here. I don't know which way to go with this.

First, I want to believe that this is not Sam, that something else has got hold of him. Perhaps not Lucifer, but maybe another demon who caught his coattails on the way out of the cage or a demon who freed him in order to ride him topside. Maybe another powerful opportunist like Crowley.

I say this because of the reunion. If Sam were Sam and he was afraid for Dean so he keeps himself distant and cold, there still would have been an unguarded emotional expression somewhere during their reunion.

On the other hand, if Sam is Sam and he's under the thumb of the Campbells, he's had a year to practice schooling his features and become a cold SOB. I still think there should have been an emotional expression during that reunion like when Dean came back from hell.

And if he was protecting Dean by staying away, why is he drawing Dean back into the life now? He watched Dean reunite with Lisa from afar, like he was making sure that Dean took the life he wanted for him. What gives? If he 's really in over his head needs his brother, then why hasn't he said anything or even hinted at it?

It all ties into what is up with the creepy Campbells. Who is Grandpa Samuel reporting to? What is this monster collection for? It's all boggled in my brain and it's no wonder I vacillate.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I agree with you 100%, Melissa, on the hug. If it was just that by itself, I'd chalk it up to bad direction, or bad editing (choosing an awkward take). But that on top of all the other stuff? No way.

It could be Michael in Sam, and maybe Sam is able to fight for control sometimes? Because Michael was actually in the cage, too, and would have had access to Sam and maybe the ability to pull him out.