After last Wednesday’s episode (Clip Show, 8×22) I got to thinking about Sam and Dean and Cas and Dean and Cas and Sam and their relationships and the way that they relate to each other.

I’ve always thought Sam was more forgiving to Cas because, well, he gets it. And I’ve noticed some interesting parallels in their character arcs, but that last episode really made me look at them a bit closer.

Cas and Sam have both been through very similar situations.

Sam trusted a demon (Ruby), wrongly, to help him kill Lilith. While Ruby did, ultimately, help Sam kill Lilith, killing Lilith set about a whole, horrible aftermath (Lucifer’s Cage was opened) and Dean placed the blame almost entirely on Sam for betraying him by trusting Ruby. Sam, being Sam, felt horribly guilty and eventually made the ultimate sacrifice to right his wrong, by jumping into the Cage with Lucifer to put a stop to Armageddon. He was (or at least his soul was) in Hell for a year and a half earth-time, 180 years Hell-time.

Now, let’s look at Cas:

Cas trusted a demon (Crowley), wrongly, to help him open Purgatory. While Crowley did help Cas open Purgatory, opening Purgatory set about a whole, horribly aftermath (the Leviathan were released into the world) and Dean placed the blame almost entirely on Cas for betraying him by trusting Crowley. Cas, being Cas, felt horribly guilty and eventually made the ultimate sacrifice to right his wrong, by taking on Sam’s insanity and brokenness, driving himself insane to save Sam from certain death. He later ends up sucked into Purgatory for a year because he helped Sam and Dean stop Dick Roman (the head of the Leviathan).

When I put it like that, it’s almost impossible not to see why Sam relates so strongly to Cas and why he defends him every single time Cas makes a (completely honest) mistake.

Let’s go a bit deeper though.

What were their motives for trusting Ruby and Crowley? What were their intentions?

Well, Sam wanted to kill Lilith, an evil demon who not only dragged Dean into Hell, but who was actively breaking seals to open Lucifer’s Cage. Sam had no way of knowing Lilith was the final seal. His intentions remained, always, in the right.

Cas made his deal with Crowley because Raphael was waging war in Heaven and he was losing. If Raphael won, he would open the Cage, once more releasing Lucifer and starting the Apocalypse all over again. He needed the souls in Purgatory to give him enough power to defeat Raphael. He had no way of knowing that opening Purgatory would unleash the Leviathan.

Even more interesting, think about this: Pride comes before the fall.

Sam was, near the end of season four and his time with Ruby, addicted to demon’s blood and the power it gave him. He felt invincible, powerful. Stronger than Dean and capable of doing anything. He didn’t only want to kill Lilith – he wanted to show Dean that he was not weak. He wanted to prove something to himself and to Dean. He thought he didn’t need Dean, he thought he didn’t need help and he wanted to do it on his own. He became, basically, prideful, self-righteous and power-hungry. It all culminated in the fight between Sam and Dean and Sam actually having demon-black eyes as he killed Lilith and let the demon’s blood consume him.

Cas was, near the end of season six and his deal with Crowley, becoming just as self-righteous, if not more. He wanted to defeat Raphael, not just to stop Armageddon from happening again but also to prove that he was strong enough to lead the Heavenly Host. He was prideful, he was power-hungry and he let that power go to his head, which resulting in the terrifying God!Cas.

And there are even more parallels in their story lines, involving Dean’s reaction this time.

Dean was adamantly against Sam trusting Ruby. It was a bad idea and he knew it and he was entirely unhappy with it. He felt betrayed and he was angry. However, in the following season, Dean works with Crowley to stop Lucifer in spite of Sam insisting that doing was exactly like what he did with Ruby. You cannot trust demons, according to Dean. Not unless he decides it’s okay.

Dean was vehemently against Cas working with Crowley in season six, going so far as to basically disown Cas for doing so and seeing his involvement and lies as the ultimate betrayal. He was pissed and angry and pretty much told Cas he never wanted to see him again. However, the following season, when they were trying to deal with God!Cas, he is the one who suggested that they go to Crowley for help, which was exactly what he disowned Cas for! Again, it’s only okay to trust demons when Dean says so.

Both Sam and Cas have consistently made mistakes for all the right reasons. They were trying to stop powerful demons or powerful angels from unleashing Hell on earth. They were trying to do the right thing. They were trying to protect the people they care about. They fully took responsibility for their actions and sacrificed themselves as penance for their mistakes.

My point is, they’re very, very similar characters. Which is why, whenever Dean was acting like a total dick to Cas Wednesday night, Sam jumped to defend him.

Sam’s always seem the shades of grey in the world. He wants to see the good in everyone, especially someone like Cas who really was only doing the right thing. Sam, unlike Dean, will take into consideration the motivations and intentions behind someone’s actions.

Dean sees betrayal as betrayal. Everything is black and white. Monsters are evil and deserve to die. People who lie to him, hurt him or don’t trust him when he thinks he should be trusted are simply wrong. He adopted that view from John. John raised them to see the world that way, but Sam, in his stubborn need to not be like John, chose to see it different, while Dean, in his desperate need for John’s approval, chose to see it exactly like that.

I’ve noticed, over the seasons, that they’ve both reached a more middle ground. Sam’s less trusting and less optimistic and, especially lately, Dean’s become more willing to accept the shades of grey he usually refuses to see.

But when it comes to family and friends, he’s still stubborn because family means so much and loyalty means so much that every betrayal hurts. It leaves scars and Dean already has such a low opinion of himself that each breach of trust just cracks his sheild even more. So he reacts viscerally, with anger and violence and unbending stubbornness. And Sam, who’s been where Cas is and sees things from his point of view, reacts with understanding, compassion and open-mindedness.

I just hope Dean’s progress on the road to being more open-minded will continue, because this time I really feel his anger isn’t all the justified. He was so cold to Cas and Cas is trying so hard to do the right thing and to make it up to Dean… I know as a viewer I have a more objective eye on the characters’ motivations and actions, but really, Dean knows about Naomi so I don’t get why he was so angry at Cas. I really want him to lay off the poor guy a bit because Cas doesn’t deserve this and, much as I love Dean, no one really ever calls him out on his hypocrisy and bad attitude.

…So, somehow this post became really analytical feeling. *shrugs* Oh well. The point is, I get why Sam is always defending Cas, I get why Dean gets so angry and I get why Cas does what he does the way he does it.

And also… I am terrified of next Wednesday’s episode. *grabs tissues* I am not going to come out it in one piece.

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Comments
  1. isismama says:

    I’ve always had a problem with Dean being so condescending toward Cas. Frankly, it gets on my nerves. Cas is almost always respectful, unless he has a really good reason not to be.

    • sammygirl1967 says:

      I know what you mean. Dean can be a real dick to Cas and a lot of the time it feels very uncalled for. Makes me think of the time Cas got angry enough to tell Dean “You should show me some respect,”

      Not that I don’t love Dean, but he can be a real ass to Cas.

      • isismama says:

        i know Dean gets really frustrated, a lot of the insults are just bitchiness. I love Dean, too, he just needs some people skills. Cas needs people skills of a whole different variety. Sam and Dean forget just how powerful Cas is and Cas has the patience of a saint. (pun)

      • sammygirl1967 says:

        Haha 🙂
        Yeah, Dean doesn’t have very much patience dealing with others, especially not Cas. I really hope that he’ll eventually realize that he should stop treating the poor guy like crap. Cas deserves better.

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