Sam + saving souls
I actually meant to make this a few weeks now since it just wouldn’t get out of my mind again. We all know that season 8 and 9 deal heavily with the topic of souls - much like season 6. So when I rewatched ‘Caged Heat’ the scenery in the first two gifs remembered me of a similar scene in ‘Taxi Driver’.
Rather dark scene, a woman imprisioned and Sam has her fate in his hands.
I’m not sure if the writers meant to parallel the scene but either way it says a lot about Sam’s growth. In 06x10 we have Sam, an absolute rational person who only cares about himself owing to the absence of his soul. He simply doesn’t care what happens to the djinn; on their way to eventually recover Sam’s soul and killing Crowley, she just might get in their way to achieve their goal.
In ‘Taxi Driver’ Sam is in hell, on his way to rescue Bobby’s soul when he’s approached by the soul of a dark haired girl who looks a lot like the djinn in 06x10. Sam, being disturbed and scared by those impressions of hell, doesn’t know how he could save her - in addition to his weakened conditions through the first trial - he has to leave her behind. Since 08x10 Sam and Dean only have each other again after they issue the ultimatum to cut the ties with Benny and Amelia. Especially after Sam started with the trials the brothers get dependent on each other again; Sam because of his worsening conditions and Dean because he still sees himself responsible for Sam’s well-being. The result is that he can’t save her alone. He’s not the one she waited for - not the one that could’ve saved her, not now anyway.
Then in ‘Mother’s Little Helper’, after Sam finally put Dean in his place by telling him that he has to stop making decisions for him which he’d never agree to, Sam is able to save these trapped souls all by himself. It’s not just that his body recovered from the trials by now, Sam is no longer under the impression that he can’t do anything without his brother watching over him, since a long time he is forced to do something alone and he is not only killing those demons, but he also manages to save those human souls - something they weren’t able to do in a long time. He finally accomplishes to free those souls.
So this is basically me trying to say that after his time of being soulless, having hallucinations and being dependent on his brother, Sam is finally at a point where he can make decisions for himself again and that he can be proud of himself.
Oh I like the idea of the Djinn, particularly because she was also the one who attacked Dean in Exile on Main Street, which would tie in wonderfully with the idea of Sam grabbing back control and saving souls. While she isn’t the same actress as the one in season 6, the visual certainly rings true. And thematically, djinns would fit perfectly here as they are warp reality and tying in with the whole book-not-matching-cover idea of season 9. Also, since we are getting a Sam with soul basically acting like soulless!Sam by all indications, this is a very interesting way of looking at it.
This is a really interesting take on the scene from Taxi Driver. Obviously, we all are really searching for an endgame where Sam and Dean take back control from the fate of the Universe and write a new script that leaves their souls and their humanity intact. I suppose when I look at this particular scene, I don’t see this girl as a Djinn. I see her as a child welcoming back her hero - welcoming back her father.
I believe Sam’s journey to saving the souls of the innocent is a part of his penance in his continued search for absolution for his sins. For the demonblood. For Lucifer. For being made unclean. The Trials, the souls - he is seeking forgiveness from his brother, from the world, and from a God that may or may not even exist and, most importantly, from himself.
I think this walk through the bowels of Hell in this episode was simultaneously a show of penance and a reminder that Sam’s existence is marked by Lucifer - the Father and the Savior of all the beasts and souls trapped in Hell. It’s a reminder that as much as Sam is good and as beautiful as his soul may be, there is still a darkness within that he allows to take control and stretch him to the limits of the line between humanity and depravity.
As much as Dean has to make the choice between permanently becoming lost to the wickedness of his demonic nature or recapturing the essence of his soul and embracing his fleeting humanity, Sam must also make the choice - to continue his own descent into Lucifer’s hellfire that still burns within him, or to wash it away with the shine of his soul and his faith in himself.
I think we have to remember, though, that the girl in Hell was a few doors down from Bobby. Now, I’m still partial to the idea that there are individual Hells that suit the soul, so that would mean that she’s actually there for Bobby. Bobby’s cell is not locked. He’s been keeping track of the time by scratching marks on the wall in his cell. He appears to be in a big labyrinth of hallways filled with tortured souls begging for help. So, even if he can get out of his cell, he can’t get out of Hell and he can’t help anyone else escape either. Bobby’s whole mission later in life was helping other people, even if he couldn’t completely escape his own past torments, like killing his own wife. So he goes back to his own cell and sits in there with the unlocked door because at least he’s away from all the other souls begging him for help.
So, I think the girl was actually a fake soul continuously asking Bobby for help. When Sam walks by she just repeats her plea because she’s on a loop. The question then, is just who does Sam think she thinks he is? Is he saying “I’m not Lucifer” or is he saying “I’m not a hero who can save everyone…I’m just here for Bobby”?
That’s an incredibly interesting headcanon. But within the context of episode, the writing, the themes of the show, this was more about Sam’s perception of himself - his endless struggle to between being human and surviving.
If the Dreaded Duo was really giving us some intricate, story-melded stuff like that, most of us wouldn’t hate them as much as we do. They tend to go with basic, and always revert back to whether Sam and Dean’s true nature is as heroes or as monsters. That has been their struggle from the inception. And it always will be, until they are able to make a choice. And even then, the Universe will always find a way to get its ending.