Dean still wants to kill Martiza, which may be a mercy-killing at this point. Sam rightfully stands up for her, and uses his own struggles to do so. "What if I had crossed paths with a hunter back when I was possessed by Gadreel? I could have ended up dead too. Would I have deserved that?" He askes Dean. Touche, Sammy.
Back at the Batcave, Sam and Dean's discussion of their issues turns into an emotional purge. "I saved your hide by there, and I saved your hide at that church and the hospital. I may not think things all the way through, but what I do, I do because it's the right thing," Dean argues. "I'd do it again."
"And that is the problem. You think you're my savior. Even when you mess up you think what you're doing is worth it. You convince yourself you're doing more good than bad, but you're not. Kevin's dead. Crowley's in the wind. We're no closer to beating this angel thing. Please tell me what is the upside of me being alive." Ouch. For Sam, who is very logical, losing one life is far better than losing millions.
"You and me, fighting the good fight together." Dean answers.
Sam replies with a long unsaid truth: "You didn't save me for me. You did it for you. I was ready to die. You didn't want to be alone. That's what all this boils down to. You are certainly willing to do the sacrificing as long as you're not the one being harmed."
"If the situation were reversed, if I were dying, you'd do the same thing." Dean hedges.
But we know that Sam wouldn't (or thinks he wouldn't) even without his confirmation. I took a long time to process this scene even as I heard the cries from the fandom boasting that Sam would save Dean or that Sam is an ungrateful jerk. I understand Dean's perspective that he had nothing but good intentions when he manipulated Sam into agreeing to be possessed by Gadreel. But I also thought about it from Sam's perspective. He views death in a vastly different way than Dean. When Dean died, he went to hell where he was the savagely tortured for decades. Death for Dean is endless suffering and the knowledge that you'll become the monsters you spent your life killing.
Contrarily, Sam died at the end of season 2 and we don't know what happened to him. The mythology (particularly from this season's "Slumber Party" and season 5's "Point of No Return") tells us that Sam went to heaven, and experienced his perfect life. Then he was ripped from that when a bereft Dean made the crossroads deal. Since his resurrection, Sam has watched his brother die, gotten addicted to demon blood, been possessed by the devil, endured 180 years of torture, had a supernatural mental breakdown, lost his soul, and endured the trials. For Sam, death represents unattainable peace and a resolute ending, which are leagues better than the continuing slide down his rabbithole of suffering. So I understand why he was so ready to go, why he resents Dean for taking that choice away from him, and why he's so honest about it now. I also wonder if the Mark Of Cain will give Dean some insight into Sam’s point of view. If it does, I might cry a little.
"The Purge" definitely lived up to his name. The case-of-the-week was a bit pedestrian, but the brotherly arc was more than worth the price of admission. Sadly, we will have to wait until after the Olympics for another new episode. It gives me enough time to digest that Snooki is guest-starring on the show even though it kind of makes me want to hurl.
What did you think of the episode? Do you think Sam is being too hard on Dean? How much did you love the plucky sheriff? Hit up the comments section below.