Supernatural Chat: In Defense of Sam Winchester

Supernatural Season 8 Episode 5 Blood Brother

Hey there, Supernatural fans! I hope everyone is enjoying season 8 so far. I know I am. With plot lines like the addition of Benny, and Crowley made into this year’s Big Bad, it’s definitely been a great season up to this point in my opinion.

If I had one gripe – well, truthfully it’s not even really a gripe, more of a confusion – it would be with Sam. In the premiere this season, we found him living a new life, no longer hunting or even searching for his brother. In fact, there have been more than a few moments in season 8 where I felt like I didn’t know who Sam was.

Okay so I know many of you are saying to yourselves, “Why did you say you were defending Sam in the article title but start out trashing him?” Have no fear, the defense is coming. It was because of all of the thoughts above that I decided to maybe try playing devil’s advocate (or in this case, Sam’s advocate) and take a look at things from his side. Once I did that, I could start to maybe see why he has done the things that he has.

1. He thought Dean and Cas were dead

Sam didn’t just wake up one morning and say “Screw this, I’m going to abandon my brother and go find a cute girl to live with.” Before that happened, he was in the biggest battle of his life (which is saying something when you consider the kind of wars that Sam and Dean have fought). Sam did his part to help defeat the Leviathans and when that happened, he watched his brother and Castiel disappear. Sam was told by Crowley that the two of them were gone and that he was “truly alone.”

After all that he had been through at that point, I can’t say that I completely blame him for giving up the life of a hunter and moving on. The last time Dean had been sent to another dimension, it was Castiel and the angels who rescued him. Without that help this time, what hope did Sam have of getting his brother back home? Plus, Sam didn’t even know that’s where Dean was. I mean when you think about it, it’s a wonder Sam didn’t just put a gun to his head and get it over with. At that point he probably felt like he had nothing left to live for and yet he found a way to move on.

2. He never really wanted to be a hunter

No one can truly say that Sam’s behavior is completely out of left field when you think about the fact that he never wanted to be a hunter in the first place. All the way back to the pilot we’ve known that Sam Winchester was a guy who didn’t want to be on the road with his father and brother hunting scary things. He wanted to live a normal life with a real house, friends, and a woman to love and create a new family with.

Of course I realize that all of that changed when Dean came back into Sam’s life. That set off a chain of events that turned Sam’s life upside down, to the point where he really was a different person – a person who did want to hunt side by side with his brother. But when all of that was taken away, every reason he had for hunting gone, is it actually a surprise that he would go back to his original dream? Honestly, I don’t think so.

3. He didn’t quit easily

Though it originally looked like Sam immediately went running for a non-hunting life without his brother, the more we’ve seen of his time with Amelia, the more we see that’s not necessarily true. Running over a dog sort of proves that he wasn’t in his right mind right after he lost Dean. Plus, we’ve seen him and Amelia talking about how messed up and broken they were when they arrived at the motel.

Sam felt the loss of his brother deeply, of that I have no doubt. So even if it sometimes looks like he dove into his new life easily, I’m not buying it. It may have only been for a few days or a few weeks, but I still think Sam struggled with that decision. I also think that it was the only way he could find to survive. Continuing to be a hunter would have been agony for him, with all of the constant reminders of everyone that he had lost.

So there, now I’ve played Sam’s advocate and tried very hard to look at things from his point of view. Does this mean that I’ll never find fault with his actions again? No, of course not, but it did help me to understand him a little better.

What about you folks? What do you think of Sam in this season of Supernatural, and his decision to leave hunting and not search for Dean? Do you kind of understand why he would have done that or are you convinced that what he did was completely wrong?

Follow me on Twitter @mokibobolink

”Supernatural Chat” is published every Tuesday. If you’re curious what this column is all about, check out our introductory post on it and more articles here.