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caranfindel: (Default)
[personal profile] caranfindel
(No new episode to discuss, wah!)

So, I think my muse has died. I'm signed up for two big bangs right now and I'm definitely going to have to drop out of one and most likely the other as well, because every time I open a document I re-read what I have and spend half an hour making minuscule changes to what I've already written and then I'm done. I'm dried up.

But Tumblr put me in a meta kind of mood today, when someone commented that we know Sam takes his coffee black because that's how he orders it in 7.07, "The Mentalists," and someone else mentioned that he doesn't take it black any other time.

(expanded from my Tumblr post)

Okay but this is when he’s separated from Dean, and he keeps telling himself it’s a good thing, it was the right decision, Dean killed Amy, for fuck’s sake, and lied about it and he had to hear it from a fucking leviathan and he just can’t look at the guy right now, can’t even think about him without feeling his blood pressure spike and being swept away on a surging wave of anger; it’s the right decision, he knows it’s the right decision.

And yet, on the other hand, he can’t stand it, is constantly worrying about Dean, wants to know if he’s okay, because what if something happens to him because Sam doesn’t have his back, it’ll just be one more person who was hurt or killed because of him, and Cas isn’t going to save him now, and Bobby’s not there to back him up, and beyond the worrying, he finds it difficult to sleep without the sound of Dean breathing in the bed next to his, wakes up in a cold panic when he does manage to doze off, slips into a downward spiral of worry and despair and no, he’s not sleeping much at all.

And what about Jacob, what about the child Amy was so desperate to protect, he doesn't know if Dean killed him too (is ashamed he didn't think to ask), because if he didn't, that means Jacob is alive and alone out there, and Sam should try to find him, try to help him (although he's afraid Jacob would end up as another entry on the list of those who died because Sam Winchester crossed their paths) but if he did, if Dean killed the kid, it means his whole she kills people, Sam excuse is a bunch of bullshit because Jacob didn't kill anybody.

(But the worst part is that Lucifer knows now, and he's never going to stop gloating about it.)

So, yeah, black coffee with an extra shot. That's what Sam's having today.

(Years from now, he'll find out about Magda, what the BMoL did to the sweet psychic girl he thought he'd saved, and Dean will be furious, will be spitting fire, will rage that the BMoL had no right to kill someone who wasn't going to hurt anyone, had no right to override their decision, should not have killed someone so safe and harmless, and Sam will relive this pain, will avoid catching his brother's eye, will bite back the urge to confess this is bringing up some old shit that I thought I'd forgotten because he doesn't know which would be worse - if Dean remembers, or if he doesn't.)

Date: 2017-03-24 08:42 pm (UTC)
fufaraw: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fufaraw
Yeah, love this. Makes complete sense.

Date: 2017-03-26 12:59 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-25 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quickreaver.livejournal.com
DAMN. Yep. I just...I never understood Dean, in that moment. It still kinda doesn't make sense to me.

Date: 2017-03-26 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caranfindel.livejournal.com
I can kind of understand him. He kills monsters. At this point, he's very black-and-white about it. Amy killed people, so she's a danger. And he doesn't trust Sam's judgement because he's hallucinating Lucifer.

And yet... I think he would have done the same thing even if Sam weren't having hallucinations. So I can kind of understand him but not fully excuse him.

Date: 2017-03-26 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] z-publicizes.livejournal.com
Dean is also not in a good place at that point in s7. Well, at any point--but that period in season 7 has him rapidly spiraling into depression with all the attendant fatalistic outlook. I actually think the most important line for his motivation over killing Amy is the one he says to her about how "the other shoe will drop. It always does."--which is him echoing a line he says to Bobby earlier in the episode, about Sam's Cage trauma and whether Sam can ever be okay. Just the episode prior, he leaves that voicemail for Bobby, the one where he says "If you’re gone, I swear, I am going to strap my Beautiful Mind brother into the car and I’m gonna drive us off the pier." So I think it's reasonable to suggest that his own decision-making capacity might be somewhat impaired at the time.

He also says to Amy--"But people... They are who they are. No matter how hard you try, you are what you are." People, not monsters. I think it's less about an us-vs-them Manichean worldview than it is reminiscent of what he says to that truth goddess in season 6, and the reason he gives for why he can't make it work with Lisa and Ben--"I ain't a father. I'm a killer. And there's no changing that." It's a character-is-destiny thing that's been magnified and twisted by trauma and depression, and it leads to him making a decision based at least partly on projection, coming from a negative-filtered mental place--and then he tries out various rationalizations for it after the fact.

Date: 2017-03-26 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amypond45.livejournal.com
Interesting how fatalistic Dean is vs. Sam's belief (hope?) that people can change, that they don't have to become what their destinies tell them to be. "It's not who or what you are, it's what you do."

Date: 2017-03-26 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] z-publicizes.livejournal.com
Yeah, it's an interesting complication in the freewill versus determinism/destiny discourse.

When he's arguing on Amy's behalf Sam says "I've spent a lot of my life trying to be normal, but come on. I'm not normal. Look at all the crap I've done, look at me now. I'm a grade-A freak. But I'm managing it. And so is Amy." It's an interesting middle-ground--he can't change what he is or his past but he can "manage" his condition. Of course, this proves to be not entirely true in the context of the rest of the arc--he can't through willpower alone keep a handle on his mental health issues indefinitely, and he has to be saved through angelic/medical intervention after he hits that wall. And Sam will later admit that his perception was clouded when it came to Amy's case. He's definitely projecting his ideas and hopes about himself onto her, as he tends to do. "I might be a freak, but that's not the same as dangerous."

And then Dean goes off and kills her anyway and justifies lying about it by saying that Sam's condition makes him unreliable, i.e "dangerous." "You almost got us both killed" are his words, in fact, while he's telling Sam not to be "a bitch" about it.

Another interesting thing that Dean says in that fight--"You couldn't do it, so I did. That's what family does – the dirty work." I think that's another reference to his identification with his role as a killer, which is inextricably tied up with his role as a son and brother (but not as a husband or father, which he thinks it precludes).

Dean doesn't see being a killer as something he has a choice in: it's both what he is and what he does. Or: he is the things he does and he does them because of what he is and what he is comes back to what he does--it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

He also had a gun put in his hand when he was a child well below the age of consent, so it's no wonder he has such deep-rooted issues around agency and identity when it comes to killing.
Edited Date: 2017-03-26 11:14 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-26 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quickreaver.livejournal.com
Whoa, this is ... okay, I ... YES.

I can buy into this 200%. Very well explored! You get the meta star for the day!

Date: 2017-03-26 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] z-publicizes.livejournal.com
Heh, thanks for the star. I've been thinking about this stuff a lot lately for fic-writing reasons so it's nice to have an opening to talk about it.

Date: 2017-03-27 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] casey679.livejournal.com
Thank you for observing this! I've run into a lot of folks who think that Dean in Season 7 was flat and had no development, and I think Jensen did some fabulous acting that season with Dean's spiral down.

Date: 2017-03-25 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] z-publicizes.livejournal.com
*clutches heart.* Damn, now I want to read about Sam trying to help Jacob survive while also trying to guide Jacob away from his avenging-my-mother's-death mission. I've got a thing for Sam adopting monster kids ever since that Wild Things fic of foolscapper's.

Black, extra shot, no food with it--seems to be TV shorthand for stripped down to merely functioning, hasn't been sleeping well, trying to survive the day.

My own taste in coffee is sometimes black/sometimes Yuppie-drowning-in-syrup depending on the time of day and whether it falls more under "utilitarian" or "pleasure," so, there's that.

Date: 2017-03-26 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caranfindel.livejournal.com
Damn, now I want to read about Sam trying to help Jacob survive while also trying to guide Jacob away from his avenging-my-mother's-death mission.

I've actually read this. Wish I'd bookmarked it.

(ETA: yes, that fic is so good!)
Edited Date: 2017-03-26 01:00 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-25 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amypond45.livejournal.com
The whole thing with Amy still drives me nuts. My initial reaction when I first watched Dean kill Amy was that he was doing it out of jealousy. He might have told himself (and later Sam) that he did it because she was killing people, but it sure felt like jealousy to me.

I do think Sam's obsessing here, since that's his usual M.O. The black coffee is definitely his way of coping -- not sleeping, not eating, obsessing the hell out of things.

Thanks for this great meta! I always enjoy reading and thinking about your posts!
Edited Date: 2017-03-25 09:14 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-26 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caranfindel.livejournal.com
Thank you'

Date: 2017-03-26 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] z-publicizes.livejournal.com
Do you mean jealousy over Sam's emotional tie to Amy? Because Sam has someone to lean on for support that isn't him?

Date: 2017-03-26 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amypond45.livejournal.com
Absolutely! But also because Amy saved Sam's life. Dean wasn't there when Sam was threatened because he was off hunting the thing that ended up almost killing his little brother behind Dean's back (harkening back to that episode with the Shtriga that almost killed 6-year-old Sam while Dean was off playing video games). Amy killed her own mother to save Sam. That's pretty messed up, especially since Amy and Sam barely knew each other. How could Dean ever hope to compete with that? (At least in his own mind, where he's a failure and a loser and a self-loathing high-school drop-out who's only good for one thing.)

Date: 2017-03-26 12:00 pm (UTC)
frozen_delight: (pretty sam)
From: [personal profile] frozen_delight
Interesting thoughts. I like this explanation.

(But do you honestly think the Magda thing is going to be addressed again? Somehow, I highly doubt it.)

Date: 2017-03-26 12:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caranfindel.livejournal.com
I won't be surprised either way.

Date: 2017-03-26 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quickreaver.livejournal.com
I'll be SUPER disappointed if the Magda thing doesn't come up again. Not gonna lie.

Date: 2017-03-26 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quickreaver.livejournal.com
PS...I'm so glad there's still some amazing meta bouncing around LJ. Reading stuff on tumblr makes my eyes bleed.


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