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01 June 2008 @ 10:22 pm
Supernatural University: Demon Powers, Motives, and Deals  

Supernatural University:  Demon Powers, Motives, and Deals


SPOILER WARNING!!  This class contains speculations arising in part from season four spoilers revealed by Eric Kripke in his interview with TVGuide.com on 29 May 2008. If you are staying entirely spoiler-free, do not attend this class!! (Note: Lack of attendance at spoilery seminars will not reflect adversely on any student.)



At the end of Supernatural season three, we were left with a cliffhanger in which Dean was mauled to death in front of Sam’s eyes and found himself chained in torment in Hell, while grieving Sam, having somehow become immune to Lilith’s powers, saw Lilith flee from the body Ruby had occupied, and then cradled Dean’s dead body in his arms and wept. Our evil master Eric Kripke has promised that in season four, Dean will somehow return from Hell after at least months of human time to find his world much changed, that he will slowly begin to remember what happened to him in Hell, and that the whole experience will have a massive effect on his relationship with Sam. He has also promised that Ruby will return, that we’ll see more of embittered ex-hunter Rufus, that a new type of supernatural species will be revealed, that we’ll learn about Mary, and that there will be questions about exactly what Sam has done with respect to his powers while Dean was gone. Welcome to a session in speculative mythology at Supernatural University, in which your senior instructor will take a wild stab in the dark at analyzing what events in the progression of the story thus far might suggest about how things will proceed from here!


Please note that I have no more information on this topic than anyone else, and this purely speculative class reflects only my guesses and musings, nothing more. I may be totally wrong; I most probably am. But like everyone, I can’t resist thinking about Dean and Sam, and by extension, about Lilith, Ruby, and the war, and that leads to an exploration of demon powers, demon motives, and demon deals.


Demon Powers and Demon Deals


The one thing I’m not wondering is how Dean will get back into his body, because I don’t believe that he will. Dean will of course be back, and he will be played by Jensen Ackles, looking exactly as we expect. But I don’t believe that he will be reanimating the same shredded, bloodless body that the hellhound killed. He wouldn’t need to.


When Dean trapped the crossroads demon back in Crossroad Blues, she tempted him with the promise of returning John, despite the boys having cremated his body. Can you bring him back? My Dad? Of course I can – just as he was. Your Dad would live a long, natural life, like he was meant to. That’s a promise. The destruction of John’s body didn’t matter at all to the demon’s ability to resurrect him. Similarly, I expect that Sam and Bobby will have burned Dean’s corpse long before Dean makes it back, and that it won’t make any difference to his ability to return.


This of course brings up the issue of demon powers and their limits. We know that demons can’t do everything, even though they can do a lot, and while some powers appear pretty common – the ability to fling people around telekinetically, for example – others seem more specialized. Bargaining with John for Dean’s life during In My Time of Dying, for example, the Yellow-Eyed Demon admitted that he couldn’t help Dean, meaning that he couldn’t prevent Dean from dying from his physical injuries, but he was able to possess Tess the Reaper, a different non-demonic supernatural entity, and usurp her powers to serve his own purposes. We know from what happened with Meg in Shadow, Salvation, and Devil’s Trap that a demon possessing a human host can keep the host trapped inside and alive despite the host’s body sustaining injuries that should have been mortal (a seven-story fall followed by a gunshot wound in Meg’s case), but that the body – and the host – will then die from those injuries when the demon departs. Comparing these circumstances, there seems to be a difference between a demon trapping and holding a life in a shell it’s possessing, and being able to retain life in someone not being possessed. The first one appears to be a power common to all demons. The second, however, appears to be something that a crossroads demon can perhaps accomplish on its own – witness the one in Crossroad Blues having somehow saved Evan’s wife from terminal cancer – while Azazel had to contract out saving Dean. I’m assuming here that the crossroads demon didn’t use the same technique of usurping a Reaper going about its job, largely because Tessa seemed so surprised and astonished that a demon would possess her. No, you can’t, she protested, just before Azazel did exactly that. If demons routinely possessed Reapers in order to perform their life and death deals, I don’t think she would have been so taken aback.


The business about being able to bring someone back from the dead appears to be different than keeping someone alive. Demons clearly can animate corpses and give them the illusion of life, as one of the Sins did with Isaac’s dead body in The Magnificent Seven, but that is different from making the person live. Old Yellow-Eyes offered a very intriguing nugget about that to Dean in All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 2, when he said: You see, demons can’t resurrect people unless a deal is made. I know, red tape, it’ll make you nuts. What he said acknowledged that demons can resurrect people from the dead – as we had already seen happen with sweet Sam – but also intimated that they are subject to restrictions and limits on that ability. Azazel admitted that he couldn’t bring Sam back on his own just because he preferred Sam to Jake as his anointed leader; he needed Dean to make a deal in order to get Sam back on the playing field.


The nature of that deal, however, didn’t necessarily have to encompass a life for a life. In Crossroad Blues, Dean managed to break Evan’s deal and thus save Evan’s life and soul without forfeiting his own simply by finding an immediate alternative that the crossroads demon wanted more:  not to be trapped and exorcised back to Hell. Whatever power the crossroads demon was using to uphold its end of the deal, it didn’t rely on equivalent sacrifice in order to work. Contract terms are clearly fungible, and driven by what the market will bear


My speculations on this include that a deal may be necessary in order to bring Dean back, at least if bringing him back relies on using the demon powers we already know, but it wouldn’t need to be the same kind of deal that Dean made. It might not even need to be initiated by a human. That curious sentence – Demons can’t resurrect people unless a deal is made – leaves a lot open to interpretation. Could demons make deals with each other, and in the process bring a human back to life? Does it make a difference if the human is already in Hell, and is thus already subject to demonic whims?


Demon Motives and Demon Deals


Asking those questions leads me straight into speculation about just exactly what it is that the demons we know want, because at this moment, we don’t understand all their motives. And as Born Under a Bad Sign hinted (with Meg’s professed disregard for the master plan and her desire for personal revenge) and The Magnificent Seven and Sin City confirmed, not all demons have the same goals. Given that goals drive actions, we’re constantly going to be surprised by demons unless and until we figure out their games.


Yellow-eyed Azazel had a long-term plan revealed slowly across the first two seasons of the show that included grooming many special psychic kids like Sam with the intent of producing one dominant leader who would release an army of demons from Hell and lead them to take over the fertile Earth. Azazel had seemingly unfettered access to the human world, visiting his chosen children in their infancy during Sam’s birth year and again 22 years later (what will happen to little Rosie from Salvation? Will she waken to unusual abilities when she turns 23?), and hinting that there had been earlier generations as well. It seemed that he needed one thing he long hadn’t been able to find – the Colt, the key to the Wyoming devil’s gate, lost for many years and hidden by Daniel Elkins for many more – and when John’s deal for Dean’s life put it into his hands, his endgame began. But he failed to account for Sam refusing the leader’s mantle, for John escaping Hell to come to his sons’ aid, and for Dean mustering the strength and determination to surprise him and pull the trigger. Azazel’s plan was left incomplete, and if the lore on the Colt is true, he was utterly destroyed and won’t be back.


Among the demons previously confined to Hell and freed when the devil’s gate opened were hedonists like the Seven Deadly Sins from The Magnificent Seven and Casey and her lover from Sin City, who apparently had no immediate goal or purpose beyond enjoying their freedom to the max and consigning as many people as possible to Hell in their place; Ruby, who is still pursuing a hidden agenda of her own; and Lilith, who has emerged gradually as a new leader seeking to consolidate power, eliminate potential rivals, and take over the forces released by Azazel for unspoken purposes and goals of her own.


We’ve been granted some interesting tidbits along the way about Ruby and Lilith, but not enough yet to give confidence that we know truly what they want. Ruby clearly wanted to awaken in Sam the same powers that Azazel wanted him to use, but precisely what she wants him to do with them hasn’t been resolved. Ruby didn’t have the power to face off against Lilith directly – as witness Lilith having been able to take over Ruby’s host body and evict Ruby without alerting Sam or Dean – and it would seem that Ruby opposes Lilith, but I don’t believe that Ruby’s motives have either Sam’s or humanity’s best interest in mind. While Lilith said she had sent Ruby far, far away, I doubt she sent her all the way to Hell – and even if she did, we know that Sam has the ability to summon Ruby back, and probably would, if only to put her to the question. Sam is a man who wants answers, and he knows that Ruby could provide at least some of them. I suspect that Sam himself will bring her back to attempt to force those answers from her. Whether he does it quickly enough to put her back into the same dead host body or not remains to be seen.


Lilith is even more of an unknown. From what we’ve seen of her – for example, her little white-light mass-killing display in Jus In Bello – she packs even more of a direct punch than Azazel did, and yet she hadn’t been on display until after the devil’s gate was opened, suggesting that she had indeed been confined somewhere in Hell while Azazel had the freedom to move around and touch our human world. She didn’t immediately pick up the reins from Azazel’s dead hands, either; There’s a new leader rising in the west, said the Tami-demon in Malleus Maleficarum, and that “rising” terminology suggested that Lilith, rather than emerging and making an immediate power play as the only logical successor to Azazel, was consolidating her forces, picking up support and subjugating other demons in a bid for power somewhat analogous to this year’s interminable Democratic party primary season in the U.S..


Something else we learned also suggested that. In Time Is On My Side, tearful Bela, facing the culmination of her deal, told Dean that Lilith held both of their contracts; She said she holds every deal, Bela said. And that may well be true – but it doesn’t appear always to have been the case. Just think back to Crossroad Blues, and Dean negotiating Evan out of his contract. At that time, before the opening of the devil’s gate and Lilith’s freedom from Hell, Dean trapped a crossroads demon and demanded Evan’s life, and his wife’s, in exchange for freeing the demon rather than exorcising her. The demon resisted at first, but ultimately caved – and she didn’t have to consult any principal in order to change the bargain and release Evan from his deal. The crossroads demon still held negotiation rights on Evan’s contract; she never claimed the need to defer to any higher power. By the time Sam summoned the crossroads demon in Bedtime Stories to demand Dean’s soul, however, she demurred and professed to be unable to alter the deal because someone bigger, badder, and tougher than she held Dean’s contract and wouldn’t let go.


What changed between those two events? The devil’s gate opened, Azazel was destroyed, and Lilith was freed … and I suspect that, in the process of maximizing her power, Lilith bought out all the outstanding mortgages on human souls for the additional leverage it would give her. I would bet that Azazel never bothered to exert himself that way, which would explain why he wasn’t the contract holder on Dean and why Dean thus wasn’t freed when he killed Azazel. I would posit that the crossroads demon held his contract until Lilith took it over some time after Dean swept Azazel off the board and before Sam’s summoning ritual in Bedtime Stories.


It’s worth noting in this regard that Bela also made her deal with a traditional crossroads demon, and not directly with Lilith, at least if the red eyes we saw in Time Is On My Side are a reliable indication of demonic type. Bela’s demon appeared as a child, something we associate with Lilith, but we saw in Crossroad Blues and again in Bedtime Stories that crossroads demons appear in a form calculated to appeal to their summoner, and given that Bela had been abused by her father and not protected by her mother, a child – particularly a girl apparently younger and smaller than herself – would be the most appealing, least fearsome possible form the demon could have chosen in order to approach and tempt her.


If Lilith has indeed been spending her time building her power base so that when she made her move to dominate Hell on Earth, she would be the undisputed ruler, then Sam’s unexpected survival at the end of No Rest For The Wicked may have seriously damaged her campaign to be proclaimed the winner. Judging from Casey’s comments about Azazel in Sin City, demons respect power and strength, and are equally quick to jump on perceived weakness. In the midst of her minions, Lilith faced off against Sam, effortlessly pinning him to a wall while letting a hellhound kill his brother, and then she put forth a display of killing power – that failed to make a mark. Even worse, when Sam advanced on her physically, dagger in hand, Lilith fled. Faced down by an angry, grieving human, Lilith ran away.


Discretion being the better part of valor doesn’t seem to have a meaningful place in demon books, any more than the meek shall inherit the earth. I would guess that Lilith’s position has been rendered abruptly weaker than it was before precisely because she failed to kill Sam and then ran from him in order not to die herself. I don’t think that Lilith will be eager to face off against Sam directly again any time soon, if ever. Sam may have been too absorbed in his grief over Dean to have realized that something had triggered in his head to render him immune to Lilith, but that surprising lesson certainly wasn’t lost on her, and her abrupt abandonment of the Ruby body won’t have been lost on the demons who had followed her, either. How many of them might desert her now, disrespecting her failure, and start to wonder again about possibly serving Azazel’s boy king, or at least avoiding him?


In addition, did whatever triggered in Sam to make him immune to Lilith go specifically against her, or might he now, all unwitting, be immune from any direct demon attack? Have we seen the last time that a demon could throw Sam up against a wall and pin him there?


And that brings me back to my contemplation of demon motives and demon deals, and another possible way that Dean might come back, restored to an undamaged body by a demon deal. What if Lilith should decide that the only way to save herself from Sam is to give Dean back? What if Lilith, not Sam, were the one to initiate a deal, in an attempt either to buy Sam off or at least give him something to distract him from pursuing her, so that she could have time to repair her power position among the demon horde? Sam unexpectedly opening the door to find Dean standing there, even or especially a Dean bereft of memories of his death and torture, would definitely be thrown off his stride and forced to take time to adjust.


Brothers … Always


Chris Lennertz wrote the score for All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 2, and the title of this section comes from the title of the musical theme he used under the heartbreaking scene in which Dean finally admitted to Sam that yes, he had sold his soul and had only a year to live, and Sam proclaimed that there was nothing he wouldn’t do for Dean, and he guessed it was his turn to save Dean now.


Kripke has said that Dean’s return and his gradual recovery of the memories of what happened to him in Hell will have a massive effect on his bond with Sam. I would submit that there is no way Dean could come back from such an experience unchanged, nor could Sam shrug off experiencing Dean’s death and his time alone, without both of them being changed. Each season of the show has seen the boys having to fight through to a new understanding of and new balance with each other, and that has been the story that has kept me – and many, many others – always coming back. I submit that the balance will be found again, as compellingly as ever, and that will be what makes season four most memorable.


In season one, the boys were reunited after several years apart while Sam had tried to build his own normal life at college. Season one was really the story of Sam and Dean rediscovering each other while searching for their father, and along the way, learning things about each other that they had never consciously known. Dean came to understand Sam’s feeling that John had been disappointed in him and to know about Sam’s psychic abilities, and didn’t reject him for being in some way supernatural, while Sam came to realize what Dean had always done for him, and to understand the unconditional love and sense of duty that kept him close and coming back no matter what Sam did to throw him off.


Season two saw the brothers fragmented again by their father’s death and the differing ways they dealt with it, with Sam finally understanding and appreciating John even as Dean, carrying the crushing burden of John’s secret instructions regarding his brother, started for the first time to question the values and duty that John had drilled into them. Sam started to become afraid of himself while Dean became determined to save him even from himself. Sam ultimately stayed true to himself and died for it, and Dean, unable to live with Sam gone, sacrificed himself to get his brother back.


Season three brought another new dynamic, with Sam feeling the anticipatory guilt and fear of losing his brother while Dean initially refused even to think about what he would face. As the season progressed, Dean finally admitted his fear and gave up all his secrets while Sam hoarded more, hardening himself to do whatever it took to save his brother or, failing that, to fight on alone. Their journey of self-discovery opened their eyes to still more things they hadn’t realized about themselves and each other, right up until the moment when time ran out, Sam knew he had failed, and Dean tried to absolve Sam of guilt and cling to his courage even as he died.


Season four has to see another change. Whenever and however Dean returns, Sam will still have to deal with having seen him die horribly and knowing that he’d been in Hell. Sam will have been alone for however long living with that knowledge, loss, rage, and grief: he’s not going to be the same man he was the last time he locked eyes with his brother. Even if he successfully avoids the specific path he saw himself treading in Mystery Spot, he’s going to be older, harder, more independent, and more broken in his most secret self. Dean will have suffered the tortures of Hell, to be scarred in spirit even if not in body. While he doesn’t remember them, he’ll be tormented by not knowing, and once he does remember, how will he deal with having given himself to the unendurable? They are both going to be different, and will have to learn each other all over again.


I, for one, don’t doubt for a moment that they will succeed, and that the two of them fighting just to be brothers again will be the heart and soul of season four. Learning more about Lilith and Ruby will just be gilding the lily. Having both Bobby and Rufus along for the trip (and maybe, please, Ellen?) will be as satisfying as combining chocolate and scotch.


The question of Sam and what, if anything, he may have done with his powers while Dean was gone is likely to be the other big unknown. Even if Sam hasn’t pursued knowledge of his powers while Dean was gone, that’s not to say that his unconscious triggers will have all been dormant. The only times we’ve seen Sam access his non-vision abilities have been in circumstances where a mortal threat to Dean caused a breakthrough when all he was thinking boiled down to Dean and No. When last we saw Sam, he seemed too overwhelmed by the brutal loss of Dean even to realize consciously that something had happened to save him from Lilith. We don’t know how many of those unconscious triggers may have tripped, or the extent to which Sam realizes that they’ve been turned on. He could honestly say that he hasn’t done anything, while unconsciously maintaining heaven only knows what. His psychic gifts are inexplicable to Dean, but whether Dean could refuse to acknowledge seeing them when they are right in front of him is another matter that only the upcoming season may be able to resolve.


So that’s my speculative take on aspects of the ongoing mythology and how they may play out. As I said at the start, I expect that I’m probably wrong … but this professor is just as glued to the seat waiting for the new season to start and to provide answers as any student in Supernatural University!


Think, ruminate, and share. Class dismissed.


Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "For My Brother" by Blue October
Danipinkphoenix1985 on June 2nd, 2008 03:58 am (UTC)
brilliant as always!

You're actually the first person to bring up that whole 'the Crossroad demon can bring a dead person back to life'. I have to admit that I had forgotten about it and noone 'til now has mentioned it...

I love your SPN uni lectures- they're the only ones that I actually look forward to LOL

but I so want Sept to get here already!
bardicvoice: SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoy my lttle institute of higher learning ...

I can't believe that no one remembered the crossroad demon's line about John; it's the first thing that popped into my mind once I actually managed to process my way through realizing that Dean was well and truly dad!
herjaa on June 2nd, 2008 04:20 am (UTC)
I'm impressed by your in-depth analysis. Since I've read Kripke's interview, one hundred theories were running through my mind, but I couldn't quite grasp them exactly: you did it for me!
It's gonna be a very long Summer...
bardicvoice: SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad it worked for you. I knew that I had to give voice to what I've been thinking. I actually started this before Kripke's interview; what he said just made it imperative!
fitznz on June 2nd, 2008 06:13 am (UTC)
Excellent questions
I think you're right in that the how Dean/Jensen will return is not as important as the actual impact of his return. After all Kripke would have already considered a worthy deus ex machina before he placed Dean in this hellish situation.

As for demons and deals, Sam's way too intelligent and curious not to have explored his new found abilities in the intervening months and my bet is that Dean will be able to sense this, leading to some distrust between the two brothers. Even if Sam doesn't make a demon deal directly, will Dean believe him. Sam's kept secrets from Dean before and, as Kripke said, Dean is going to be like a POW returning home from the most hellish experience one can imagine. Trust may be in short supply. Let's hope Bobby can be a stabilizing factor.

Kripke's interview with spoilers has me more excited about season four than ever before.
bardicvoice: SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I found it fascinating that during Mystery Spot, Sam never once tried to play with his mind in order to save Dean. He had built up such a block, between believing his powers were gone, being afraid of them, and refusing even to consider that they might be there, that he never went down that road. With Dean dead, there's nothing to hold him back but fear and the memory of Dean adamantly refusing to let him even consider flipping the switch and possibly becoming what Sam himself had so feared throughout season two - but will he even care, any more?

Both of the boys are in Hell. After all - don't they say that we each make our own?

Season four can't come soon enough to suit me!
Killing threads since 2000 CE: SadDeangwendolyngrace on June 2nd, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
I think you're spot-on in a lot of ways, and while I'm still pondering whether I want it all to be true, I'm still jazzed that the show had the guts to take Dean there and I firmly believe that they didn't go in without an exit strategy.

The one thing I hope we don't get cheated out of entirely is to find out what happened *immediately* following the end of the season finale. I want flashbacks or *something* to show us (and not just exposit) how Sam and Bobby get out with Dean's (and Ruby's?) remains, what happened to all the demons after Lilith fled, and most importantly, Sam's initial grieving for Dean. Kripke's comments leave me very concerned that the time jump he discusses will occur off-screen in the hiatus, and that we'll be dropped back in on Sam at the six-month mark or just as he's "found the solution" and is about to embark on his harrowing of hell, the new Orpheus taking the Underworld by storm.

And while it's very true that their relationship has to continue to change and grow, it makes me very sad for them, as well. These poor boys! There really is no rest for the wicked. They barely catch their breath before the next crisis hits them.

Isn't that one of the warning signs that your life is an hour-long drama? ;D

Edited at 2008-06-02 04:54 pm (UTC)
bardicvoice: SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
I'm with you in hoping that we get to see the immediate aftermath of Dean's death, with its profound impact on both Sam and Bobby. I don't really care about seeing the other demons depart; my simple bet would be that they would immediately have followed Lilith when she decamped, leaving one heck of a lot of scared, confused suburbanites behind! But I want to see Sam and Bobby. I want to grieve with them, because it's hurt so much to grieve alone - well, alone with a few million others, but you get the idea!

Isn't that one of the warning signs that your life is an hour-long drama? *Snicker*
(no subject) - gwendolyngrace on June 5th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bardicvoice on June 5th, 2008 10:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
galathea_snb: s&d togethergalathea_snb on June 2nd, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)
Excellent essay as usual and I agree on most everything you said! ♥

I loved the short season recaps where you sum up the development of Sam and Dean's relationship. I always get nervous when I read something like "massive effect on the bond of the brothers" and need to remind myself that we actually have that in every season and they always came out stronger as brothers and partners than before! I hope S4 follows the same example. :)
bardicvoice: SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
Thank you!

The story of the show really is the story of the continuing relationship between the brothers; that's why I'm so addicted to it. And that's also why I believe that season four will be brilliant - they'll both be tested to their limits, but I believe with all my heart that they will come out stronger and closer than ever.
(no subject) - galathea_snb on June 4th, 2008 08:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
raputathebuta: PDA (MM)raputathebuta on June 2nd, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
Mary, I had a bunch of great observations to make & then read this: What if Lilith should decide that the only way to save herself from Sam is to give Dean back? What if Lilith, not Sam, were the one to initiate a deal, in an attempt either to buy Sam off or at least give him something to distract him from pursuing her, so that she could have time to repair her power position among the demon horde?

My brain just exploded. I can see this happening..."I'll bring Dean back, but you have to promise to let me go about my business"...as if the boys would just let her destroy the world. Maybe that's where part of the rift between them comes in to play?

While we know that Sam will be pretty paralyzed over Dean's death, I'm hoping that Bobby will be able to maintain a somewhat logical mindset & help Sam figure out just what switches were flipped When Lilith allowed the Hell Hounds to attack Dean.

About Dean coming back, maybe we'll get to see Tessa again?! Or the Trickster...seems to me hemight be able to help out a little more (seeing as how he likes Dean).

Oh our poor, poor boys!!!!!!!! *clings to them*

Off-topic: any ideas about what the S4 title card will look like?!
bardicvoice: SU weebros by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
So sorry to have blown up your brain, Rap - I hope you've managed to piece it back together!

I really want to see Bobby trying to hold Sam together. I can't help but think that Bobby will refuse to leave him alone, after what happened when he allowed Dean to drive him away after Sam died ...

I haven't a clue on the S4 title card image. Something hellacious, I'm sure!
whimsywinx: SN-HappyEndwhimsywinx on June 2nd, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
Based on the evidence we have on hand, I suspect many things you predict will probably come to pass, Mary, barring the left turns the Supernatural writers always throw at us.
bardicvoice: SU weebros by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
I don't really try to predict what Kripke and company are going to do ... I just have to let some of the ideas out of my brain before I overload!
angieb5: sam and dean sad sam sharp dean fuzzyangieb5 on June 2nd, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
I really liked your explanation for what changed between Crossroad Blues and Bedtime Stories with the whole 'who holds the deal' thing. It works on a lot of levels.

I'm curious to get your take on the new Supernatural species we're going to encounter. My only guess would be Nephalims (angels had children with mortals and were banished to hell for their crime) It could have something to do with Sam's powers, and Mary's connection to Azazel. Meh, I leave the meta to the pros (i.e. you, lol)

Thanks so much for posting. I love reading everything you have to say about the show; it's so insightful!
bardicvoice: SU weebros by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
Glad you liked the idea of buying and selling mortgaged souls; it just seemed to fit, somehow!

I have no idea what Kripke intends with his new supernatural species. It could be anything - including his down and dirty version of angels, normally hidden allies of humanity. Nephilim are a possibility. Another thought I had concerned all the traditions of places or things being imbued with spirits of their own, not restless human souls, but the essence of nature. It could be something evil, something good, or - like the Reapers - something essentially neutral, with a function to fulfill. I'm content to wait for it to be revealed!

Thank you for the words of praise; they make me feel all warm and fuzzy (and not in a hormonal sense ... *grin*).
gunznammo2gunznammo2 on June 2nd, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
WOW! No sure where to begin - excellent lecture as always, Mary. With Dean actually dying and in his own Hell and Sammy unable (or maybe unwilling, considering Dean's last wishes) to keep the worst from happening in the first place, all my abilities to think clearly of all the ramifications of the whole situation kinda went out the window and I was left rather bereft of any hope or positive speculation. Then I attended your class and I have come out with a myriad of thoughts bordering on cautious optimism!!!! Dare I say, maybe even confidence that our boys will get through this horrendous state of affairs once again. You have restored my ability to look forward to what is to come. Thank you! And now, the long wait begins....
bardicvoicebardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
Glad to provide rays of hope, gunz!

I really am looking forward to season four. I think it's going to be magnificent and rip us to shreds, all at the same time!
historylover29historylover29 on June 3rd, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
As always, you were eloquent and brilliant.

I have a plot bunny for a fic that I'm startiing to write, regarding Dean coming back and what deal is to be made. And before I read this, I remembered the CRD mentioning bringing John back, even after being cremated, and I was trying to play with that idea. I also have an idea that Lilith might now want something that belongs to Sam--his powers.

bardicvoice: Family Laugh anibardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
Great minds run down the same gutter, as we say in my family!

Hmm - how would Sam tender his powers to Lilith, given that he doesn't really know where or how within him they reside? I'll wait for your story!
zofia27zofia27 on June 3rd, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
Excellent class Professor!

Of course you would make the connection with the Cross Road Demon being able to bring back someone without needing their original body! This is one of the reasons why you are made of AWESOME!

And this little tidbit is the other:
What if Lilith, not Sam, were the one to initiate a deal, in an attempt either to buy Sam off or at least give him something to distract him from pursuing her, so that she could have time to repair her power position among the demon horde?

I can totally see this happening. It's obvious that Lillith is afraid of Sam and his power. There would be few things that would keep him from coming after her to avenge his brother...getting his brother back would be one of them.

I too am curious as to your thoughts on the new supernatural species. Someone mentioned the Nephilim and I'd been thinking that maybe as the war gets going that we'd see something like them or even Kripke's version of angels...the down and dirty kind, without the feathers.

Anyway...it's going to be a very long summer and I can't wait to see what Kripke has in store for us!!
bardicvoicebardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
Thank you! *ducks head, blushing*

I really don't know what to make of Kripke's new supernatural species. He hasn't said whether it will be evil, good, or neutral, so at this point, anything goes! Our side could certainly use allies, though; Dean's bleakness in Jus in Bello when he admitted that he thought they would lose and the world would end bloody felt so dark that I wanted to find hope and light to give him.

And now, more than ever.
(no subject) - andromakhe001 on June 19th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
immie_8immie_8 on June 3rd, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
Great speculation and analysis, Professor.

I do think that demons initiating deals, as well as demons making deals with other demons is totally possible, and your theory of Lillith buying out all the contracts would be an example of that.

Regarding how Lillith may have gotten Dean's contract: your discussion on Azazel and how he possessed a reaper in order to save Dean, made me wonder, if your theory of Azazel originally holding Dean's contract is true, if he (Azazel) did break some sort of rule when he possessed the reaper, maybe he was forced to give up the contract as a penalty due to some demon red tape rule.

The only other speculation I have is based on some spec over at the SN.tv boards. Over there people are speculating that whatever this new type of supernatural creature is might bring Dean back, and I'm thinking that maybe Sam taps into his mind control powers and compels whatever the creature is into bringing Dean back.

Take care, Mary and all my other fellow SnObs!


bardicvoice: JohnThinker by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
I don't think that Azazel ever actually held Dean's contract, immie; I think that the crossroads demon who made the deal had it up until Lilith got it. I don't think that Azazel ever cared enough about Dean to give a flying fig one way or the other - which turned out to be his single greatest mistake.

It's clear that Azazel, as the deal-maker, held John's contract, though - which could mean that Dean's execution of Azazel was the thing that fully freed John. John had fought his own way out of Hell, but I'm wondering if Azazel's destruction was what opened the way for John to depart in content into light?

At this point, literally anything could be true of our promised new supernatural species - good, bad, indifferent, ally, enemy, tool. I'm very curious to see which it will be!
jo_anne8: Dean/Sam/ NRFWjo_anne8 on June 3rd, 2008 07:08 am (UTC)
Thank you for a great class!
Hi Mary! JoAnne from the LA con here to say I don't want the class to be dismissed!

Thanks to the wonderful Mr. Kripke, Tums has made me their spokesperson and major stockholder.

This new season, as Eric said himself, will be about the brother's relationship. I really think with these pull your hair out, the nails are already gone, thought-provoking tidbits he has unleashed, we can rest assured that the brother's relationship will be first and foremost throughout season 4 and we will be loving every bit - no matter how painful some of the moments may be.

Your explanation of how Dean will not be in Dean's body again, makes alot of sense. I also think about Sam whose, according to Jake, spinal chord was cut all the way through and yet once Dean made the deal, Sam has a scar, but all is fine.

Your theories on the Crossroads Demons curing and/or bringing people back to life, just as they were, plus the YED needing Tessa are all outstanding!

What a ride this new season is going to be and what an exploration into Sam and Dean's psyche!

Their bond, and their unconditional love they have for each other will indeed prevail and then what a wonderful reunion of souls that will be!

Thank you, as always! You are incredible! :)


bardicvoice: SU brothers by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
Re: Thank you for a great class!
Hi, JoAnne!! Good to see you, and glad you enjoyed the class!

I am right there with you in eagerly anticipating the new season, and trusting that it will be a spectacular tour de force of the triumph and strength of brotherly love.

Thank you!!
morgansladymorganslady on June 4th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Just read that you were a finalist on Supernatural University.Congratulations. On the supernatural.tv site,where will they be posting the stories?
bardicvoicebardicvoice on June 4th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
They linked the first one from the page they have for the whole Ben Bella Books SmartPop essay contest, here: http://www.supernatural.tv/archives/extra/benbellacomp2.htm. I'm betting that they'll announce each posting on the sn.tv homepage. When it comes to mine, I'll definitely provide a link here and on TVG!
(Anonymous) on June 6th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
Demon Powers & Deals
Fantastic 'lecture' I'll print it and ruminate again. Many of the points you made are ones I've thought and wondered. I too don't worry or spend time thinking how Dean gets back in his body, I believe (and hope we see) Sam and Bobby burning it (nod to ELAC)

The relationship between the brothers being massively impacted has troubled me and while I've reassured myself this is the heart and soul of the show and the writers know it your analysis on the three seasons thus far and speculation on Season 4 hit all my high points, and your speculation brought forth others I hadn't considered.

I'm hoping for some comical interludes with Sam being the messy eater trying to get Dean to eat again (one would think PTSD from being a POW in Hell would effect the appetite) further, do we see more of Sam driving 'Dean's' car, will Dean even acknowledge the car as his anymore?

I read a meta-analysis on Dean and the Impala exploring Dean's emotional state through S1 and S2 as observed by how the Impala looked and was placed in various scenes and it was fascinating -- wish I could remember where that was as I've wanted to explore it again -- and since there seems to be so much of the idea that the car, like the amulet, is a part of Dean's personality (and in IMTOD, it was directly compared to Dean in the scene between Sam and Bobby at the junkyard) that that relationship with the Impala and the brothers would be a rich undercurrent to further show their rediscovery of each other now that their lives have drastically been altered.

In the end Mr. Kripke's comments in the interview you have based much of your latest lecture upon are fascinating when it comes to the 'new direction' Dean's character will head off into.

Dean has been the hunter with nothing other than the hunt, save people, do whatever for his brother and father in Season 1, to the tired hunter who stays 'cause Sam stays and he must protect him despite wanting nothing more than to throw it all away and as we saw in AHBLII post-Sam's death he wasn't willing to fight anymore and told Bobby to "let it all [the world] end" until he got Sam back and then he was right back in the fight; to Season 3 when he's all about killing as many of those SOBs as possible since he only has one year left.

We've also seen Dean in Route 666 realizing that he's not someone who is allowed [or worthy] to get close to people [told Cassie the secret and she dumped him] and then in WIAWSNB that his 'dream world' was that mom lived, Dad died peacefully of a stroke, Sam had Jess and Dean had a girl that loved him but he really knew nothing about her, had no idea how he deserved someone like her and that his dream world was really all about Mom and Sam being happy. That evolved a bit in The Kids are All Right when he was touched by the idea that Ben could be his and realized he had nothing to leave behind and with sorrow would have liked Ben to be his but still wasn't ready to accept or state that he deserved 'that life' and then in DaLDoM we saw that in his dreams [and much to Sam's sorrow] he really did want such happiness and was starting to accept that he did deserve it.

I speculate in Season 4 we see a return of Lisa and Ben, a longing on Dean's part for some bit of the normalcy that drove Sam initially to leave for Stanford, hopefully there will not be the same dire consequences.

I'm currently spending my 'summer school time' rewatching all the episodes from all seasons for hints on the car and when Sam drives it and why (Wendigo offers some emotional insights via the car) as well as speculating on the future and wondering who and what and why and how it all comes together.

I think Season 4 has immense possibilities at the development of this overall arc and I for one am very, very, very eager for fall classes to begin....come on Trickster, bend some time here.

PS, was it Dean's mind in DaLDoM or did the Trickster have a little something with helping Dean realize that it was time to start fighting for his life? I just watched Mystery Spot again and some comments the Trickster made in there to Sam made that thought jump to life in my mind. I'll be rewatching in the future to see if perhaps there was more to it than we saw on the surface [and the subconscious]
bardicvoice: notthecar by <lj user=fuesch>bardicvoice on June 10th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
Re: Demon Powers & Deals
Thanks for sharing, oh anonymous one!

If I had the writing of it, I would definitely make the Impala one of the subtle keys to Dean's gradual reintegration of self! She is so much a part of him ... when he connects with her again emotionally, I'll know he's coming back to himself.

Dean woke up to his worth and to the resolve to fight for his life in Dream a Little Dream of Me. The neat thing to my mind, though, was that Dean was the one to realize the lesson that the Trickster tried to teach Sam in Mystery Spot, and without hearing the Trickster specifically enunciate it, either.

I really can't wait for season four and all that will transpire in it. I agree that it has immense possibilities, and I want to see them all!!!