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Heavy Meta Poisoning
Supernatural is truth
This Isn’t About You: Sam in Something Wicked 
21st-Sep-2006 11:04 am
Pomegranate
This Isn’t About You: Sam in Something Wicked

The title of this meta is a line that Dean says to Sam, but I also think it’s true of the episode in general. Something Wicked focuses on Dean, so Sam has a lot of little peripheral roles throughout the episode.

At the beginning of the episode, Sam is the Snarky Guy. He’s complaining about John sending them coordinates and making comments about how unlikely it is that John would show up. As the case develops, Sam is also the Idea Guy. He notices the lack of kids on the playground, which leads to the discovery that several area children were sick with pneumonia. It’s his idea to check out the most recent victim’s house while the family is at the hospital.

[Actor meta note: I love, love the slip-through of Jared’s accent when he says, “You were riiiiiight,” to Dean. So cute. Anyway.]

The flashbacks in this episode gave us some great insight into what Dean and Sam were like as boys, but like the episode in general the flashbacks were more focused on Dean. In the first flashback, we saw Sammy only as a little kid who looked extremely spaced out on cartoons while John made sure Dean knew his responsibilities.

In the second flashback, we learned more about Sammy. Interacting with his big brother, he was rather demanding, asking pointed questions and artfully manipulating Dean with his puppy face. On the other hand, he was also very sweet when he offered Dean the prize from the cereal box. In that scene, it felt to me like he loved his brother a lot, and that he knew Dean would do anything for him.

In the third flashback, Sammy was just sleepy and confused, after the shtriga attack. However, it’s interesting that he doesn’t remember the incident at all. He was old enough there--five or six probably--that I would think he might remember the shock of being woken up by his dad, John yelling at Dean, them taking off in the middle of the night. Throughout the episode, Sam claims to have no memory of the events, and I believe him, but it also makes me curious.

Something Wicked holds several revelations for Sam. The first surprise for him was learning that the shtriga had gotten away from John in the past. He asked Dean, “Why is it still breathing air?” He was clearly shocked that John had failed, and from that point on he seemed very suspicious of what Dean might be hiding from him.

He was paying close attention to Dean when Dean interacted with Michael. He clearly knew that there was a lot going on with the shtriga case for Dean, and it frustrated him not to have all the details. Nonetheless, he was making an effort to be gentle with Dean, and he tried to help Dean see that he hadn’t been responsible for Sam’s near-miss with the shtriga. When Dean told Michael that he would do anything for his little brother, Sam quirked a little smile and looked really touched.

As the episode wrapped up, Sam and Dean discussed the recent and past events in a manner that was surprisingly open and sincere. Sam apologized for giving Dean a hard time about following Dad’s orders, since he had apparently realized why Dean was so deeply driven to do what John told him to do. Sam also told Dean that he was sorry that Michael had to know about evil things like shtrigas and that he wished he’d never had to learn about them either--that he “could have that kind of innocence.”

At first glance, this felt selfish to me, like he wished he could have been untouched by evil, but that he didn’t seem to have much concern for Dean. On further analysis, I think that in expressing concern for Michael, who was presented as so much of a reflection of young Dean, Sam was talking about Dean in a way that Dean wouldn’t brush off.

As Sam moved through his roles in Something Wicked--Snarky Guy, Exposition Guy, Idea Guy, Little Guy--he always came back to being Concerned Brother Guy, very often focusing his thoughts and his gaze on Dean.
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
21st-Sep-2006 03:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, I tend to think that Sam has taken Dean for granted a lot over the years--not out of spite or lack of love, but just because Dean was always there and always seemed strong. I think this ep gave Sam a look into the inner-workings of Dean.
21st-Sep-2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
Beautifully said. :)
21st-Sep-2006 05:19 pm (UTC)
Your icon is adorable!
21st-Sep-2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
It's by nina_nicky if you want to use it. ^_^
21st-Sep-2006 09:51 pm (UTC)
Wonderful meta. You are so right in pointing out that interaction where we see that Sam loves Dean, and also already knows Dean will do anything for him.

I also think we see again, as we did in Route 666, that Sam can get Dean to open up (ok you could argue that it wasn't THAT hard)
21st-Sep-2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Man, I haven't watched Route 666 in ages because of the scourge of Cassie. I must re-watch because I can't remember it well at all.
21st-Sep-2006 10:23 pm (UTC)
Route 666 is worth watching for the Sam and Dean moments - the dynamic of Dean "i don't know how to say this but I want to tell you" and Sam reading Dean's every nonverbal cue.

Just put a ring of rocksalt(aka fast froward button) around Cassie!
21st-Sep-2006 11:20 pm (UTC)
I just went and rewatched it, and you;re right. I think I only ever saw it once, when I wsa first viewing the series, and I have so much more appreciation for the brotherly banter now after a few months inhaling the fandom.

I have no problem with them having us meet a girl Dean dated in the past (though I wouldn't like to see an ongoing love-interest in the present), but I wish they could have picked an actress who a) was not so irritating, and b) had some chemistry with Jensen. I mean, we're supposed to be convinced that inside of a couple weeks Dean loved this particular girl enough to tell her the family secret? Please. *g*
21st-Sep-2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
ok leaving aside the casting challenge it must've been to find a human of any gender or sexuality who wouldn't have chemistry with Jensen:

fanwank> I wonder whether Dean subconsciously chose someone who was 'safe' - someone who wasn't so into him, or even someone he sensed would leave him (just so he could confirm his world view that everyone leaves him so he's better of not pursuing r'ships)/fanwank

I don't belive this was the writers' intention tho. Also I am ok with any ongoing love interest for the boys, as unless they change the basic format of the show, it is inevitable that she will be doomed to die and/or turn evol - thus making for a great season finale. Aren't I the little optimist today? :)
21st-Sep-2006 11:55 pm (UTC)
it is inevitable that she will be doomed to die and/or turn evol - thus making for a great season finale. Aren't I the little optimist today? :)

LOL! Last night, watching the season premier of another show, my first thought when they introduced a new love interest for the main character was, "Oh, they are so going to kill her to give him angst."
22nd-Sep-2006 12:24 am (UTC)
season premier of another show What show?
22nd-Sep-2006 12:27 am (UTC)
CSI:NY (Hope I'm not being spoilery for anyone.)
22nd-Sep-2006 12:43 am (UTC)
We are so far behind in Australia, i'll have forgotten by the time the season airs here (prob about 2008!). And there's only so many shows I can download ;)

Do you think I could get a green card on the basis that not living in the US hampers my TV viewing?
22nd-Sep-2006 12:53 am (UTC)
Do you think I could get a green card on the basis that not living in the US hampers my TV viewing?

Heh. Then again, I don't have cable, so I download a lot of things, too. I get the CW, but it's so horribly fuzzy that I'll probably be DLing SPN, too.
22nd-Sep-2006 12:35 am (UTC)
As Sam moved through his roles in Something Wicked--Snarky Guy, Exposition Guy, Idea Guy, Little Guy--he always came back to being Concerned Brother Guy, very often focusing his thoughts and his gaze on Dean.

Awww. I love Sam in that role. I loved his little "You were just a kid." He is at least trying to let his brother know that it wasn`t in anyway his fault.
Sometimes I just wish John would appear in that moment and Sammy would clock him. ;)

Oh and about Cassie, as I`ve speculated in my Dean-meta, he might just have a thing for love afairs with inanimate objects but at least he ha chemistry with Metallicar. *g*
22nd-Sep-2006 12:54 am (UTC)
Oh and about Cassie, as I`ve speculated in my Dean-meta, he might just have a thing for love afairs with inanimate objects but at least he ha chemistry with Metallicar. *g*

LOL!!! I have to go read your meta...
24th-Sep-2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
Great meta on Sam. The episode emphasis is on Dean, but Sam plays an important role as Concerned Brother Guy, far beyond his role as Former Child Shtriga Victim Guy.

He was old enough there--five or six probably--that I would think he might remember the shock of being woken up by his dad, John yelling at Dean, them taking off in the middle of the night. Throughout the episode, Sam claims to have no memory of the events, and I believe him, but it also makes me curious.

I wondered about that too. Perhaps being half asleep at the time made him forget? Or it was traumatic so his mind blocked it out. I'm not sure how much he would remember in adulthood of something that happened when he was five--childhood memory is tricky that way. Some things stand out and some things get lost. Of course his subconsciously remembers and I think that came through when the shtriga was attacking adult!Sam--he seemed a bit...overwhelmed as history repeated itself, or maybe I'm just assigning.
24th-Sep-2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
Former Child Shtriga Victim Guy

He should form a support group for that. *g*

Some things stand out and some things get lost.

Yeah, that's true, and I know that some people remember early childhood much better than others. I guess I can only compare to myself, and while I was never attacked by a shtriga (LOL), when I was about Sam's age there or perhaps a shade younger I fell out of bed in the middle of the night. I smacked my head a little on the metal bedframe, and while I was just crying from being startled at the awakening, my mom freaked out, and we had to go to the ER. It's the closest I can come to Sam's experience (waking up, Dad freaking out, being hurriedly packed into the car and driven to Pastor Jim's), and I remember it really clearly. (I got to have soda when we came home! Soda at night!)
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