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10 May 2009 @ 10:51 pm
Supernatural -4x21"When the levee breaks" meta review  

“ You don’t know me. You never did and you never will”

(Sam Winchester)

 

 

 

« when the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay

Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan

When you’re trying to find your way home

You don’t know which way to go!”

 

(Led Zeppelin-When the levee breaks)

 

In 1929, Kansas Joy McCoy and Memphis Minnie wrote and sang a blues song as a reaction to the flood caused by the Mississippi in 1927. The song was covered by Led Zeppelin in 1971 and in 2009, Eric Kripke will call his 21st episode of the firth season, “When the levee breaks”. The symbolism of the title is easy to get, when the levee will break, when the final bond between the Winchester brothers will fall. We only have one more episode and maybe we will find out some of the answers. We will keep hoping that Dean and Sam will get back together as brothers. I said last week, for us fans there is only hope , we hope that Kripke will give us something more on the season finale.

 

Sam Winchester and the four hallucinations-“when the levee breaks…”

 

“what have I become

my sweetest friend,

everyone I know goes away

In the end.

And you could have it all,

My empire of dirt

I will let you down,

I will make you hurt.”

 

(Johnny Cash-Hurt)

 

Last week Bobby and Dean left Sam in Bobby’s panic room to detox from his demon blood addiction. Sam felt betrayed, a prisoner against his will, caught in his growing addiction. “You think I drink Ruby’s blood for kicks?” Sam tells Dean. No Sam, you don’t drink it for kicks. Sam drinks Ruby’s blood because it’s the only way to kill Lilith, to stop the Apocalypse. Sam is trapped, his addiction and system cleansing of the demon blood begin to take it’s toll and Sam is visited by 4 hallucinations, 4 elements that embody his fears, his hopes and his disappointments.

 

4. Alastair

 

Sam killed Alastair, the demon that for 40 years has been his brother’s tortioner and for 100 years John’s. Sam killed him and now Sam is visited by on of his fears-the fear of not being able to kill the demons. Sam in “The Rapture” had some moments when he could exorcize and the demons laughed at his expense. Now Sam is alone, weak and facing Alastair, the chief executioner from Hell. Sam lays on the rack, in a scene close to the one in 4.10, when Ruby was in the same position in front of Alastair. Alastair tortures Sam in his usual sadistic manner. Sam suffers, Sam pleads for him to stop, and Sam goes through his own Hell.

Alastair is the mission that Sam took upon himself, the consequences of his failure in this task, the reminder and the fear of not going with his plan, Alastair is the one that tortured with pleasure his brother and his father for  so many years.

 

3. Sam –child

 

Colin Ford is the second surprise form this line of hallucinations. The young actor is in this show for the third time and now acting with Jared Padalecki he shows his talent and potential.

Sam the child, the image of the innocence, the image of a child that all his life wanted to be normal, a child that hoped to get  to a college and free himself  from the monsters. The child that wanted a normal life : “I thought we will be normal, that we will become lawyers and we will get married” says Sam the child. Sam the adult “ we will never be normal, we will never escape. sorry. grow up” Looking at the two versions of Sam , you understand how much the Winchesters paid. The innocence was sacrificed in order to complete the task, stop the Apocalypse, and avenge the deaths of Mary, Jesse, John. Sam bears his cross, a cross to heavy sometimes, a cross that may cost his life. Sam the child accepts the harsh reality-“maybe you’re right-we are not normal-the truth is we carry in ourselves Azazel’s blood”-the  child changes the eye color into a bright yellow, just like Azazel’s. Sorry kid, grow up! The circle is complete for Sam from season 1 up until now. From life, only some manage to escape, and we’ll see what will happen next.

 

2. Mary Winchester

 

Sam never had the chance to know his mother, to talk to her, only in season1 he had the opportunity to see his mother, to hear her tell to him how much she is  sorry. Sam is tired, he’s thirsty, he misses the demon blood. Mary appears in his hallucination. Mary is dressed in the same blood stained nightgown as in the moment when she died. Sam waits to be scorned, to be told how much of a disappointment he is to his family. Sam is plagued by the thought of being seen as a demon. Mary doesn’t scorn him. Mary is the hope, the acceptance of being  what you are. I know that I have something evil in me, but I must be practical, I’m cursed to be a monster but I can change this evil into something good. I can put an end to my family’s curse, and  bring them pace, bring myself peace. Mary tells Sam “ make my death mean something”. Mary wants revenge, Sam wants  to end his family’s tourniquet. Sam is in his mother’s arms, a hallucination or not, this was Sam’s wish, the wish of Sam, the child, the one that never knew  how it felt to be in his mothers arms. Mary is a dream to Sam, someone he saw in pictures, from his brother and father’s memories. This Mary is the Mary Sam desires. Mary, from a family of hunters, Mary that knows Sam is stronger than Dean. Mary who watches her son and can’t bear to see him locked in a prison. She is the Mary , Sam always wanted.

 

1. Dean Winchester

 

Sam’s last hallucination. After being tormented by terrifying images, Sam seeing how the demon blood pumps through his veins, Sam is being thrown by an unseen force through out the panic room. Sam is immobilized by Dean and Bobby. Sam is visited by the last hallucination, the one person he adores, the one that he feels ashamed to be near because of  what he had become, the one  from whom he asks for compassion, understanding –Dean. Everything starts nicely, Dean tries to understand Sam, he tells him he’s alive, out of Hell, and that  this is his mission , to stop the Apocalypse. The hallucination takes a life of its own and becomes a nightmare. Dean tells Sam what Sam doesn’t want to hear, especially form his brother : “ all your life you were a  freak, a lonely kid with a weirdo family. You’re a monster, that’s what you always were.” From the first time, Dean sees him use his powers to exorcise demons, Dean told him out  of fear, our of fury, that Sam is a monster and he out of the reservation. Sam was been plagued all his life , not feeling normal, he wanted to be accepted, the moment Dean told him he is a monster, Sam felt betrayed, not understood by the one, Sam chose to follow this road. “ you’re not my brother, you never were, you’re just a monster- a monster I will kill”. This is Sam worst fear, to be hated and killed by his own brother.

 

 

 

“I hurt myself today

to see if I still feel,

 I focused on the pain,

the only thing that’s real.

the needle tears a hole,

the all familiar sting.

try to kill it all away,

but I remember everything…”

 

(Johnny Cash- Hurt)

 

While Sam fought his inner demons in the panic room, Dean and Bobby tried  to find a way to save Sam, anything. Bobby-Jim Beaver- he’s amazing- and  brings some truths in the story-“ is it not possible  that we love him too much and instead of having him on the batter field we’re keeping him locked?”, “ what we do here is killing him!”. Uncle Bobby, the boys father figure, may be right. Is Sam more valuable on the battlefield? Sam used as nuclear  warhead, then what? Let’s sacrifice Sam for the sake of humanity. Dean will never go with this plan. Sam is his brother. Dean at the end of the second season went to the crossroads and made a deal with a demon in order to bring Sam back to life. Dean calls now Castiel- the one that was reformed in Heaven, but still bears  signs of doubt, of compassion, although he serves Heaven-Dean makes another deal this time with Heaven, through Castiel “You give yourself over to the service of God and his angels? You swear to follow His word and His will obediently as you did your fathers?” Yes, Dean enters Heaven’s service. After four seasons, Dean loves his brother the same as in the beginning, he’s afraid of losing him, he’s afraid  to know that his brother’s soul will become dark.

 

“after all these years I think I found my line. I’m not letting my brother become a monster…I  would die for him in a second…” Sam’s fears are the same as Dean’s. Sam doesn’t want to be seen as a monster, to be seen by Dean as a creature that he may hunt. Dean doesn’t want to let his brother become a monster, he will fight until the end. What will be the price?

 

Castiel has doubts but Castiel obeys Heaven and recruits Dean, frees Sam from the panic room, thus giving him the chance to meet with Ruby. Castiel captures Anna and delivers her to Heaven. In his eyes we can read sadness, betrayal, fear, and still he listens to his orders. Like an obedient soldier, like Dean.

Sam runs away, Sam tries to steal a car from Bobby. Bobby tries to stop him. Probably one of the saddest scenes from this season. Sam is in tears, so is Bobby, Sam puts Bobby’s riffle close to his heart, “shoot me”. Resignation, fear, suffering. How do you feel when the ones that were beside you, loved you, now want to kill you, how do you feel when they see you as a monster? Bobby can’t shoot and Sam knocks him down and runs away.

 

Dean is after him, although Sam did everything he could to escape him, Dean knows his brother to well, he knows his habits when he doesn’t want to be followed.

 

Sam meets Ruby, Sam drinks from Ruby. Sam asks Ruby “ I hope when all of this is over we can fix things”. Sam hopes he can still be saved, Sam still hopes his brother will accept him how he is now, stay by his side. Ruby comes with some of her intel, the seals are being broken and there is only one left, the seal that only Lucifer’s first can break, Lilith. And now Ruby is close to one of Lilith’s inner circle demons.

 

Dean gets to Sam are the clash takes place. On his way, Bobby tells Dean to be calm, and try to bring back Sam. Dean rushes to kill Ruby, but Sam comes to her rescue and helps her escape.

 

Sam and Dean. Sam pleads Dean to join him , together with Ruby to destroy Lilith. Dean agrees  with the sole condition that Ruby is out of the picture. This is the price for the peace between the two brothers. After a whole season in which the  two of them broke paths, this is the final moment, the moment that shatters everything. The gazes of the two of them. Sam thinks Dean is too weak to stop the Apocalypse, he saw him a whole season being tortured by guilt after 40 years in Hell. Sam chooses to take the lead, he chooses to drink demon blood to complete his mission. The old ghosts of the past come to life. Sam always felt controlled by John and Dean. Sam asks now , once in his life, Dean may let him  take the lead, Dean may trust  this time Sam. Dean can not do that, he can’t let his brother  walk the path of destruction. He didn’t went to Hell for this, and he didn’t accept John’s mission in order to see his brother become…” say it, says Sam. Dean answer, a monster that is what you will become.” Sam tried to convince Dean, he quoted Mary from his hallucination, he tells him to be practical, Sam’s hallucination comes to life, Dean tells him what he doesn’t want to hear. You’re a monster! This is the moment when tears become anger, Sam and Dean fight with each other. Sam immobilizes Dean, tries to chock him, to make him swallow his words. How is seems that the past strikes back, with the same words used by John to Sam, when Sam wanted to free himself from his destiny of becoming a hunter?

 

“ if you walk out that door, don’t you ever come back!”, Dean tells Sam. It was the drop that filled the cup.

 

“ You don’t know me. You never did and you never will”

Sam walks out the door, looking sad at his brother. The Winchester’s family curse, loneliness, sacrifice, up until when?

 

This is the episode that the fans will remember as the moment when everything treasured in this show was broken. We know, Sam and Dean will be back together, by Kripke’s will, but we feel a bitter taste, seeing that the relationship we admired was broken. We don’t want to see Sam a monster and we don’t want to see Dean forced to fight his own brother.

 

25 years ago Azazel placed a curse over a whole generation of kids, Sam Winchester was the only survivor. A curse that changed the life of a family, the life of two brothers. The next episode is “Lucifer rising”, the last episode of season 4.

 

“I hurt myself today

to see if I still feel,

 I focused on the pain,

the only thing that’s real.

the needle tears a hole,

the all familiar sting.

try to kill it all away,

but I remember everything…”

 

(Johnny Cash- Hurt)

 

 

 

 



 
 
Current Location: home
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
 
anangelsdeath15 on May 10th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Great review! I loved the lyrics interspersed throughout. Very fitting. Though I don't think the brothers relationship will be fixed before the season ends. At least I hope not. That would feel kind of like a cop out after spending four years building up to this point. It's this conflict that is the climax of the story. It will continue into the next season and will run its course. I look forward to it! :D

I also loved seeing Colin and Chris (Alistair). That little actor is going to be well known one day, and Chris is so amazing as Alistair! I love him! I hope there will be more hallucinations/flashbacks/anything with him. He will be missed by me. :(
sn_143snsn_143sn on May 12th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
I agree with you there, Sam's scene with bobby was one of the most touching scenes I've seen. Though I do hope you're wrong that the brotherly bond is broken. I don't want them to be broken, maybe slightly damaged, maybe half-way there, but not completely.
I'm still not sure about the reason Alistair was in his conscious. There could be so many reasoning behind it. It could be as you say, his fear of failing. Or it could be his evil subconscious torturing the normal one. Then again it could also be Sam thinking he's beyond redemption, and he's gonna end up in hell to be tortured. This can be supported by him hallucinating Dean thinking him a monster (which in fact Dean later on said)and li'll Sammy saying (with the yellow eyes) "maybe we're never gonna be normal, maybe this is what we're gonna become"
I agree that Mary was his hope, wanting love and acceptance, someone to believe him, believe in him, which now he's only getting from Ruby, no matter the form in which it comes.
It was so sad to hear Sam begging his brother to trust him this once and follow his lead, where he has always trusted and followed Dean, but Dean unable to accept that and being forced to name him a monster was the final straw that broke Sammy enough to start the fight. Maybe that's why he said "You don't know me, You never have, and you never will." He's always thought Dean thought him a freak..throughout season 1,2,&3 we can see glimpses of it, maybe this was where he finally accepted that Dean would never get him, and that he'd always be a freak in his eyes. Daim, that hurt.
I can't wait for the next episode...but hate that we're going on such a long hiatus after this. lol, gonna be my first brush with season break hiatus and I'm so not looking forward to it :(