Suspicious that something is definitely wrong with his brother, Dean keeps a close eye on him hoping to look for clear evidence of anything unusual as instructed by Bobby. They go on a case where there's been a series of multiple suicides in a particular area. Suicides that are linked to having the harsh truth being told to them wherever the victim goes, and results to them killing themselves. Believing it might be Gabriel's Horn of Truth, Dean contacts Castiel, but Castiel says it's not the horn that is causing this. Dean is then mysteriously cursed by the spell of truth himself. They discover this is the work of Veritas, the Goddess of Truth. The suicides are meant as a ritual sacrifice for her. After finding out who she is, they follow her in attempts to kill her, only they are faced with getting knocked with the truth about each other. Dean admits the lies he's been living, and he also discovers the shocking revelation that Sam isn't himself after all. Sam has no soul.
After killing Veritas Dean demands the truth, and when Sam tells him about feeling absolutely nothing, of basically admitting to having no soul. Dean unleashing his pent up frustrations and beats his brother unconscious.
This episode brings us typical Winchester angst, but at least something has been revealed and confirmed to move forward on.
The Wincesters: Was what Dean did to Sam necessary?
One of the major hot topics that have been circulating fandom currently is the very last scene in the episode where Dean is senselessly beating Sam until he's unconscious. How could Dean have done that? Why would he have even considered doing that to his own brother? Why to that extreme?
First let's take into account what this episode focuses on. Those cursed with the truth spell encounter plenty of harsh truths by everyone they come across, including loved ones, to the point where they do something drastic such as taking their own lives or the live of others because they cannot handle the brutal honesty that they are faced with, their emotions are triggered immensely that they make the first impulsive move that overcomes them. Now let's look at everything Dean has been encountering not just with the truth curse, but within the last year (and then some). The revelation about Sam was the final straw that ultimately broke that dam that was building inside of him, and it really must have stung knowing that your brother not only lied to you but lied multiple times to your face knowingly playing it up to his own advantage. How can anyone blame Dean for reacting the way he did? It was finding out someone you loved and cared about knowingly placed you in danger but did absolutely nothing about it, and continually lied to you until they were caught red-handed by someone else. How would anyone with that kind of emotionally and psychologically fucked up head react? It's a knife that twisted his gut so deep he didn't know what to do, and did the only thing he could do right then after finding all of this out after having shit being unloaded onto him in one day.
Was it unnecessarily harsh and brutal, and totally reckless? Of course it was, but I felt it was necessary for the current fucked up situation they're both in. They wouldn't be the Winchesters if there wasn't some irrational kind of way of dealing with their issues in some form or another, something that does need to be worked on, and hopefully it will at some point after shit gets back to semi-normal. Seriously, the melodramatics have gone on too long and I think the majority of us are sick of it.
I honestly found this scene incredibly effective, because it was the very last moment of the episode. Dean is beating the living shit out of his brother, with no noise other than the smacking of flesh of Dean's fist into his brother's face until he's unconscious, then dead silence when the screen goes black. It was unnerving, and appropriately so and I think we're meant to have a mixed reaction about what happened in that last scene, from Sam's confession to Dean lashing out as brutally as he did. Everything is totally fucked up, it's all wrong and twisted, and yet it fits with how disoriented everything has been lately. You could clearly see Dean was emotionally disturbed by everything that was revealed to him, how upset he was after beating up his brother, just unleashing all of his anger and pent up emotion in that moment was so real and raw and perfect.
Was it necessary for him to lash out like that? Perhaps not, however it's understandable given everything that's happened. Anyone would have reacted the same way, and I don't blame Dean for doing what he did. It was just an unnerving scene that I think took people by surprising.
Sam Winchester: Soulless Monster = Better Hunter?
Sam doesn't have a soul. He doesn't feel anything. Good to have confirmation on this matter, however there is something else has drawn my curiosity from this episode.
Since we got part of the revealed truth it makes me wonder about how souls are represented in the Supernatural universe and what this could possibly mean. It had been said multiple times this season that Sam has been a better hunter in the last year, he even announces it to Dean that he's better than he's ever been in his life. Mostly due to having absolutely no feelings, no emotional ties whatsoever. Would having no soul make someone a better hunter or fighter? How would one describe a human soul, as part of their conscience? We've never seen something like this in the mythology before, since I always assumed that a person's soul is who they were, without it they were dead. So what does that make Sam, if that's really truly Sam? Is he just a walking/talking shell of the person he used to be? This needs to be cleared up soon because there's no solid groundwork to the mythology surrounding souls in this show, which is kind of a shame.
Another thing, which many are debating about, is whether Sam was being sincere as he revealed the truth to his brother, that he really doesn't understand what is happening to him. However if he didn't understand then why all the charades until he was called out on it to begin with? His actions outweigh any sympathy going for him. Even if he didn't understand what was happening he has been sketchy since day one; he willingly lied to Dean straight to his face and played it off like he really was telling the truth. More than once he's done this, and that is the ultimate betrayal of trust. Even if he is telling the truth about not understanding what happened to him, he used his new "soullessness" of not feeling anything to his selfish advantage. He only cares about the work, not for the people involved, and certainly not for his brother. No wonder Dean beat him shitless, that is perhaps the worst kind of thing to learn about your only sibling. It's almost a fate worse than having them remain dead, in all honesty.
Could this be connected to the Alpha situation, where there is need of a soulless, emotionless army of the most efficient fighters and warriors? From the preview for this week's episode it might be so....
I'm not entirely sure what is happening with this storyline, while I admit to not being huge on Sam's character for the longest time this has me somewhat mildly curious how it all fits together. But there needs to be something connected to whatever is happening soon and fast. Now the question is where is Sam's soul and can they retrieve it?
Truth Hurts: Could You Handle The Brutality Of The Truth?
One of the intriguing aspects of the episode for me was bringing in the Goddess of Truth. While the entire Gabriel's Horn of Truth was such a red-herring tease, I think it proposed something about how certain characters handle the truth. In the beginning we see character killing themselves because they truly couldn't handle the truth, however when we take a Winchester it's a whole different ballgame.
Living a lie, being caught in a lie, and sometimes believing in a lie so hard that they think it's absolute truth. Our boys hardly deal with the brutality of such truths that well, in fact when it gets slammed onto them with such force it's like an anvil on top of an anvil crushing them. Both of them have been suffering from these lies, these ways of dealing with their own lives and destinies that the harsh reality gets to them. We've seen how they deal with it, through anger and denial, and now when faced with he ultimate test of their own mortality we see that Dean has to face the reality of something he's always known deep down but couldn't allow himself to face. He's been letdown so many times in his life that, even if everything that happened in the last year was based on a falsehood, he desperately wanted to cling to something (whether or not we agree that it was ever the smartest choice to make in regards of his character, but I digress), and even with the smallest little thing he wanted to cling to with his brother being back that turned out to be a lie even after thinking he had been wrong about Sam being a monster. Sam also had to be challenged of his own mortality in the past, and whether he is now or not because of his lack of a soul that's still in question, but they've gone through so much that sometimes the brutal truth might be the only thing that can save them.
We already know the brothers have trust issues and countless other things in their dysfunctional little family of theirs, and they've been living their lives in a huge lie for so long I think they've forgotten what it's like to live truthfully. The main thing now is how they start progressing from all of this.
Memorable Moments of the Episode:
++ Jensen Ackles looks extra pretty in this episode, and I'm not entirely sure how that is possible. I think from the close-ups and his reactions to many things, especially during him observing scenes and looking completely on the verge of breaking, those are some of the best captures for him. In any case, I loved how Jensen did in this episode in portraying Dean as someone who is trying to keep it together until he finally just snapped in the end. There are plenty good scenes were the subtly of his acting is so well done it kind of amazes me just how good of an actor he really is. I mean, we've known this sure, but sometimes you get lost in it.
++ LOL CONTINUITY FAIL. Someone pointed out that when they visit the first victim's house the calender read 2010 -- according to their timeline it's 2011 because they skipped a year. SPN DUN GOOF'D!
++ Sam is creepy in this episode, I'm not sure whether I should be impressed or irked by it, even with the revelation in the end....
++ But not more creepy than the creep/gore factor of this episode. First with the suicide, then with the dentist scene (making more people afraid of seeing the dentist!), and the mutilated corpses inside of Veritas's house that looked like something from Chainsaw Massacre or whatever. This show, I swear.
++ HAY CASTIEL! LONG TIME NO SEE BB!
++ "You were gone for like two seconds, where'd you look?" "...Everywhere." LOL CASTIEL ILU.
CASTIEL POURS HIM ANOTHER DRINK AND KEEP ON WITH THE EYESEXING DURING IT THE ENTIRE TIME, THEY ARE SO MARRIED. ♥
++ I hope Dean stops being an ungrateful jerk to Castiel, though. He really should be taking what Bobby scolded them about being selfish into account, especially with others who also have helped them time and again in the past like Castiel. I understand Dean doesn't really know how to articulate his feelings properly and ends up lashing out in this manner, but did you see Castiel's confused-hurt expression on his face? I mean Jesus Christ Dean, give your poor angel boyfriend a break. He's dealing with family issues just like you are, be at least a little sympathetic with being at war with his brothers. Of course it brought such an amazing subtexty scene between them, as always.
++ I disliked that Gabriel's Horn of Truth was merely a red-herring (although it was an excuse to get Castiel into the episode, which I appreciated), and I just hope that it's not all for nothing. That the Horn will be used later at some point. Perhaps with an actual discussion/reappearance by Gabriel himself? *prays*
++ BOBBY IS LOVE. HE GETS PEDICURES AND WATCHES 90210 AND I LOVE IT. Dean's reactions to all of this was priceless. XD
++ DEAN AND LISA ARE FINALLY OFFICIALLY OVER, LET US REJOICE! NO MORE BAD "DOMESTICATED" MELODRAMATIC BULLSHIT! \O/\O/\O/\O/ I'm sorry, but I can never be convinced that entire thing was meant to be serious or even part of canon to begin with. It was horribly written and characters were badly treated, and I'm praying, for the love of everything that is holy, that Lisa never ever returns. Let her character go with the last shred of dignity she has left.
++ Can we just talk about how fucking gorgeous Veritas was? Hot damn girl. Also must have her wardrobe, they did good. Just saying. ♥
++ I've already talked about the ending scene ad nauseum, my final say is that as unnerving as it was it was definitely appropriate for the fucked up way they live their lives. The lies, the charades, it stops here, and hopefully they will figure shit out from now on. *prays they move forward*
++ Needed more Castiel though, I'm just saying. However....
++ STOP MISSPELLING CASTIEL'S NAME SHOW! I AM NOT GONNA TELL YOU AGAIN! *cue rage!face*
Overall: It was a pretty good episode. Not outstanding, but not bad. There was some progression of what the hell has been happening with Sam, and in the most brutal way possible gave us something to go on in moving forward in this particular storyline. It has gotten me mildly interested in what is happening with Sam (and the Campbells), so let's hope they continue that streak. We also get Dean facing more brutal truths in a single day than he can handle, which again his reaction in the end is totally understandable given all of that and a lot more of what he's gone through. Even with Castiel's brief appearance I loved it even more than most of the scenes featured in this episode, which is totally not showing how biased I am. ;p Anyway, with the truth spell of the Goddess Veritas we learned something about Sam being soulless, and now perhaps onto juicer things that won't make this season an entire bore.