ivelostmyselfsomewhere said: Thoughts on Sam's decisions? Everyone says that Sam makes bad decisions or bad choices. My opinion is that he actually makes great decisions. Exhaustive and well researched, thought out and balanced decisions. He strategizes each decision like a chess game. If I make this choice, this happens is what happens worth the result. I like to think he does this for every possible solution to a problem/decision to be made.
This is a really good question!
I think it kind of depends what lens you’re looking through - objectivism or subjectivism. I personally think he makes good choices with bad consequences, consequences that tend to be out of his control. And he then works on countering those consequences.
In fact, let’s walk through Dean’s laundry list of Sam’s sins:
- Ruby: She had proven to both Dean and Sam that she could be trusted. She was the only one really able to keep Sam afloat while Dean was dead. So he trusted her, used her skills and tools to keep hunting, to find a way to free Dean. Pros: skills, tools, knowledge, someone to help and keep him sane. Cons: She fucks him over. Acceptable, because the danger is primarily to himself, and he has the knife he can kill her with. Consequence: Ruby did in fact fuck them over, though only Lilith knew the truth about her and there was literally no other way anyone could have found out. Solution: Sam and Dean kill Ruby.
- Drinking demon blood: Ruby proved to him that he could use it to save the hosts of the demon-possessed, instead of just killing them. Pros: saving people, following Dean’s wishes. Cons: using powers Dean hates, doing something the hunting community would find reprehensible. Acceptable, because saving other human lives means more to Sam than damning himself in any way. More importantly, more human lives are saved because of this choice. Consequence: addiction. That’s literally it, guys. Sam was addicted, but he did not make any morally reprehensible choices to feed his addiction. (I’ll get to the nurse in a minute.) Solution: detox, force of will to not drink demon blood again.
- Killing Lilith: Given the information he had at the time, killing Lilith was the only way to stop the looming Apocalypse. No one but the angels, Ruby, and Lilith herself knew Lilith was the final seal. Pros: stopping the Apocalypse. Cons: killing the possessed nurse for her blood, possible death. Acceptable, because one life cannot weigh against the thousands who would be saved by averting the Apocalypse, and Dean already hates him. If killing Lilith actually had worked, we would all be saying he did the right thing in stopping the Apocalypse. Consequence: Releasing Lucifer from the Cage. Solution: jumping into the Cage with Lucifer.
- Losing his soul: We’re going to ignore this one, because it was in no way, shape, or form Sam’s decision or choice to return from the Cage without his soul.
- Letting Dean think he was dead: The point of this was to get Dean out of the hunting life and allow him to heal. Pros: Dean gets a safe life, family, support, and can heal and explore options he never got the chance to do before without anyone trying to kill him, and doesn’t have Sam to try and pull him back into hunting. Cons: Dean’s grief, Sam without someone to back him up. Acceptable, because grief fades and heals, Dean gets people who love him and stays safe, and Sam finds the Campbells to back him up while hunting. Consequence: Dean gets pissed off. Solution: work with Dean, side with Dean over the Campbells.
- Since I’m sure someone’s going to bring it up in response - letting Dean get turned into a vampire: Tactically, this was an excellent choice, especially for something made up on the fly. This is basic intelligence gathering, you send a spy behind enemy lines. The cure was available, there were hunters on call to help Dean, Dean’s reactions were genuine so that the vampires wouldn’t realise something was wrong. Hurting Dean temporarily weighed against gaining valuable intelligence and saving more lives isn’t much of a contest, objectively.
- Not looking for Dean in Purgatory: Let’s remember that based on the knowledge at hand, Sam believed Dean was dead and thereby in Heaven, so he was safe and happy and didn’t need to be rescued. So Sam’s choice to get out of hunting was entirely for himself. He was a mess after Dean died, and he knew he was a mess - and he knew that would make him a liability in the field if he kept hunting. Everyone in his family was dead, he had no one else to support him, so he got out, tried to find a quiet life where he couldn’t hurt anyone, where he was as far from the nightmares and dangers of hunting as possible. Objectively and subjectively - this was the healthiest and best choice Sam could have made.
Moral of the story -
Dean is an assholeSam doesn’t actually make bad choices. He reasons it out, weighs the pros and cons, and chooses the course that results in the least damage to others. Some of the consequences suck miserably, but when they do, Sam promptly works on resolving those consequences.
(If anyone wants to throw Sam’s other “bad” choices in my inbox, I’d be happy to pick it apart with the same four-step method I’ve used above.)
I’m with you 100% and truthfully like you say, except for being brought back soulless and I refuse to call it coming back because it was completely out of his control, he was taken bodily from the cage by Castiel, Sam makes good decisions. (We’re going to put aside the act of allowing Dean to think he’s dead and hunting without him and allowing Dean to be turned into a vampire for a few minutes. I have a separate argument for that. I’m also setting aside the whole purgatory thing as I think you cover that perfectly though I think I have something to add that’s only tangentially related.) It is out of Sam’s control that the information he is given to base these decisions upon are lies and untruths fed deliberately to him for the express purpose of manipulating his actions by not just demons but Angels and a trusted ally, Castiel. If you take the information at face value and as truth, which Dean did as well as Sam, then the actions Sam took were reasonable actions. In fact Dean later makes similar actions with even less information and less reliable information. (Trusting Ruby - trusting Crowley, drinking demon blood - taking the Mark of Cain)
Now let’s talk about actions that took place while Sam’s body was topside and Sam’s soul was imprisoned in the cage. If we are going to argue that his soul is what defines him/makes him a being, a person; then what happened while the body was out of the cage while the soul was still imprisoned in the cage then the body isn’t Sam and actions taken by that body are not Sam’s actions. Dean explicitly states that he doesn’t feel that the body is Sam. That body isn’t Sam, that body is not his brother, that body is a monster. It is wrong. It isn’t human. (I really do not want to get into an argument that the body is wholly human, in fact it is more human due to absence of anything spiritual or soul like within it.) So now we have to accept that the body isn’t Sam. So Sam did not leave Dean to think Sam was dead. Sam did not allow Dean to be turned into a vampire.
Now Sam not looking for Dean. I utterly agree with you. Sam thought Dean was dead, Sam thought Dean was in heaven with their parents and getting his just rewards. Sam knows he is mentally unstable, he is grieving, in shock emotionally. He knows he is dangerous not just to monsters but the civilians around them. So he leaves that life and tries to isolate himself.
I don’t know if I just reiterated your arguments or maybe offered up different proofs but I just had to say these things…This is horribly long so I’m sorry. If you disagree with anything askbox me? I love to point by point talk about Sam stuff, I don’t know if I’m any good at it :)
Oh, sweetheart, don’t worry, I love long replies!
I definitely agree - Sam’s decision-making skills are perfectly fine, the fact that his foundations are faulty are out of his control. I mean, just look at his normal hunts - the choices he makes there are intelligent, deliberate, and beneficial, because he has good information at his disposal.
Dean’s responses are distinctly less well thought-out than Sam’s in similar situations, especially with the Mark of Cain - Cain was actively trying to warn Dean of the side effects of the Mark, and Dean kept shutting him down. Ruby didn’t offer any warning to the downsides of demon blood, and though we don’t see it on-screen, I personally think Sam did try to find out as much as he could before agreeing to it.
The soul!Sam vs. soulless!Sam debate is one I enjoy noodling. One the one hand, from a biochemical standpoint, your body is, well, you. You live and move because of specific chemical reactions and nerve impulses, your thoughts are the products of electrical sparks between your neurons. But from a religious standpoint, you are a soul, and you have a body. And Sam didn’t differentiate himself until after he found out he was soulless, either, which brings up a whole host of other things to consider. But that’s a discussion for another post!
Anonymous said: Anhedonia!Anon. Sorry for spamming, this'll be the last one for a bit I think. Delirium Tremens and Demon blood. Also- We're going to kill your followers aren't we?
There’s a man in the hospital waiting room, leaning against the wall. There are burns and scars on his face, but he waves away the doctors and nurses trying to help him.
He gestures at a body of a tall man. “What happened to him?”
"Delirium tremens," one of the nurses clucks sadly. "Poor thing, he was too far gone by the time we got to him."
The man tilts his head.
The nightmares hit two days after he detoxed from the fight against Famine. He’d been good, he’d gone in quietly, let Dean and Cas lock him down without protest. He idly wondered if the detox would kill him this time, since he survived the last detox when Castiel let him out, and then God supposedly got rid of his addiction.
There was no escape this time, and he could very well end up dead by the end of it. He wondered if Lucifer would bring him back.
He made it through fine, though, and everything was… less tense than it was before. He was exhausted and dehydrated and sore, but that’s what he got for falling prey to Famine, he supposed.
When he lurched awake from his nightmare, he thought it was another trick from Lucifer, another way to wear him down. He could barely remember what it was, anyway, only that his heart was about to burst out of his chest.
The first tremors came in the middle of the afternoon, and he managed to hide it from Dean for almost the rest of the day. But when he dropped the gun he was cleaning because his hands were shaking too badly, there was no going back.
Dean was furious.
Sam tried to convince him for an hour that it wasn’t because he had gone back to demon blood, and then let Dean burn out his fury by yelling at him for the rest of the night. Dean slammed the motel room door shut and stormed away.
Sam woke up four hours later screaming, and Dean was still gone.
He tried to call Cas when the tremors wouldn’t go away, but Cas didn’t answer and Dean put him on lockdown again.
At least it was just in the motel room, where he could still do research.
At least it wasn’t the panic room again.
He’d hunted with migraines before, a few light trails and wavering peripheral vision wasn’t a huge detriment to him researching.
He didn’t expect the bugs.
He didn’t expect them crawling all over his arms, burrowing under his skin, and he scratched, scratched, scratched, but they wouldn’t go away -
He was going to die.
His whole body was shaking, he felt like he was burning up inside, this was Hell, he was already damned, Lucifer was coming -
He bolted out of the motel room, running, running, running, he could barely breathe, his heart hammering in his chest, he had to getaway why couldn’t anyoneseehehadtogo -
He screamed when the EMTs pinned him down, seizing and terrified.
He howled until his voice gave out, only subsiding when the sedatives in his IV dragged him under.
His heart stopped before he hit the ER bed.
The nurse called for a crash cart, but it was no use.
Sam Winchester was dead.
The man sighs softly and shakes his head. “Oh, Sam. You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you?”
Lucifer puts his hand on his vessel’s chest and the corpse suddenly jerks up with a gasp.
Sam Winchester is alive.
Anonymous said: Anhedonia!Anon~ Ahh! You got to my thing! Alright! Now- S7 Sam and Familial Fatal Insomnia
Sam finds out because of Jess.
She’s in love with her Genetics class, and with her Immunology class, and her Advanced Proteins class - and basically every one of her biology classes that explores how the human body works. So when she learns about genetic screening, she immediately wants to try it.
Sam’s less keen, but when Jess turns her big blue eyes on him and begs for it as a birthday present, his defences crumble.
He doesn’t expect to find out about the FFI gene.
Jess lasts about ten minutes before the first tear rolls down her cheek.
It takes him all night to talk Jess down, to point out that the average age of onset is fifty, that there are ways to improve quality of life, that biological research is constantly advancing, and there may even be a cure by the time he’s affected.
Jess is working with a professor studying prions and genetics by the end of the week.
Sam calls his father and Dean once a week for nearly three months, leaving voicemails about what he’s found and begging them to get tested. If they’re lucky (and he hates himself for thinking it) he got the gene from his mother, and John is safe, while Dean only has a 50% chance of having the dominant gene.
Jess bites down on the instinct to point out that if either Mary or John had two dominant alleles of the gene, then Dean would automatically share the same fate as Sam. There’s no way to know for sure unless Dean gets tested, and Sam needs all the hope he can get.
In 2006, Jess is dead, John is dead, Dean doesn’t have the gene, and a paper comes out about a man with FFI who extended his lifespan by a year. Sam has it bookmarked ten seconds after finding it, and spends months hijacking university networks to access all the related research he can. (He finds Jess’ only published paper from undergrad and stares at it for an hour, remembering how hard Jess worked on it, how many nights she spent on the couch with him trawling through research articles while he wrote his own essays, how proud she was when it came out in PNAS, three days before he got his LSAT score.)
Six years later, Sam can’t sleep and Lucifer’s doing his level best to remind him of the Cage. The doctors pump him full of sedatives that don’t work and only make the hallucinations worse, and Sam remembers with dread barbiturates only exacerbate the clinical symptoms -
Twenty-eight years old, and he’s going to die.
It’s more time than he ever thought he’d have.
It’s not enough time at all.
Cas takes Lucifer away, but the insomnia stays, and Dean dies before Sam can figure out how to tell him.
He’s sitting in the Impala trying to figure out what to do, if he should try and get Dean back, if Cas is really gone, when he tallies up the past months and realises he’s already in the last stage of the disease.
There’s no more time.
Soon he won’t be able to move or speak, and when he finally loses the ability to breathe, he’ll die. This isn’t the Cage, where Lucifer can just bring him back (though maybe when this is all over and he returns to the Cage, Lucifer will.)
Sam gets in the Impala and drives.
He keeps driving until he hits a dog, and he can’t let him die, doesn’t want to let his last act be a mistake. So he takes him to a vet, demands the doctors take care of him, and stumbles out with a sad smile when a feisty redhead tries to make him take it home.
He’s already losing the ability to speak and walk.
There’s no more time.
He parks the Impala at the side of the road and walks until he reaches a cliff. It’s beautiful out here, wild and open and free. The sky is cloudless and blue as a robin’s egg. There’s a note in the Impala asking that she be taken to a good home, to someone who will appreciate her beauty and worth, instead of sitting in an impound lot somewhere, gathering dust.
Sam takes one last breath, and jumps.