season 5 had a ton of feel-good moments, mostly
centered on Dean finding new and creative ways to insult Zachariah, but
just when fans thoughts the boys were back on the same page, ready to
face the devil, the final scene reminded everyone that what happened
last season didn't stay in last season.
In the end, Dean admitted that he can't forgive and forget what Sam
did, betraying his own brother in favor of Ruby and her demon blood.
The episode ended with Dean quite literally walking away from his
brother, a mirror of when Sam did the same thing after their huge fight
in season 4.
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Is Dean right? Is what Sam did unforgivable, forsaking his own family for a demon? Or does Dean need to get off his high horse and accept that the world is a lot more complicated than he thinks it is? My vote is for the latter.
There seem to be three main arguments why Dean is still angry. Sam started the end of the world, he betrayed his family and he sided with a demon. For me, all of these points can be refuted.Sam Started the Apocalypse
This was exactly what Demon Bobby said was the reason he never wanted to see Sam again. While it's completely true, it's important to remember that while Sam broke the final seal, Dean broke the first one when he stepped off the rack in Hell and started torturing souls. If Dean had been more like his dad, who refused to do such a thing, they wouldn't be in this mess to begin with, so from where I stand, Dean is every bit as much to blame for the apocalypse as Sam.Sam Sided with a Demon
Dean complained that Sam stayed with Ruby, but clearly he's forgetting two very important things. The first is that, in "Sex and Violence," it was Dean who sided with the demonic siren over his own brother, causing the first Sam vs. Dean fight. Yes, the siren has a supernatural power to get you to do things, but if that's the counterargument, then Sam can't be held accountable for his actions.
Let's not forget that when he was a baby, Azazel fed Sam a bit of his blood, giving him his psychic abilities. From the very start, Sam has been, in some way, shape or form, part demon. It's a disease, and while I would agree that Sam must take some personal responsibility, he certainly wasn't able to entirely resist Ruby's allure because that little piece of demon inside of him was controlling his actions.Sam Betrayed His Family
Family is an important thing to the Winchesters. I just finished rewatching season 1, and the amazing first season finale is all about how Sam was willing to give up killing Azazel in order to save his father's life, so clearly family means something to him.
That decision I understood because Sam had no idea what Azazel was planning and, if letting him live meant a few more people might die, he was OK to make that trade for John's life. However, last season Sam saw a different story, he saw Lucifer rising. This wasn't a couple of people dying, this was, literally, the end of the world, so he turned his back on Dean in order to sacrifice his own life and his own humanity to stop it.
Surely sacrifice is something Dean can understand, since he gave up his own soul to save his brother's life, just like John did for Dean before that. So it seems that Dean's hypocritical rule is that sacrificing yourself to save a family member is OK, but doing it to save the entire world is not. As far as I'm concerned, Sam wasn't betraying his family when he decided to go with Ruby, drink her blood and kill Lilith. He was honoring his family, honoring the Winchester name by living up to the sacrificial spirit that makes them so great.
In the end, I get that Dean is still mad at Sam and that he doesn't deal with emotions well. But Sam made some impossibly difficult choices, putting humanity ahead of his own brother, and while it didn't turn out as planned, he had the best intentions. Sam is also incredibly apologetic and would not do things the same way if given another chance.
Dean doesn't have to forget what Sam did, that's impossible, but a little forgiveness isn't out of the question. Even if he doesn't agree with Sam, surely he can understand and appreciate his intentions, and when looking down the barrel at the prospect of facing the actual devil, Dean is going to need his brother by his side.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer(Image courtesy of the CW)