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SPN Meta: Close watch of 5.14 and other related ponderings. - CaffieneKittySpace
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SPN Meta: Close watch of 5.14 and other related ponderings.
I finally got around to that close watch of the end of 5.14. So stand back! I'm going to try... LOGIC! Or something. Rampant speculation at the very least.

Here are several points to ponder regarding Season Five elements, particularly in 5.02, 5.10 and 5.14.

Horsemen, Sam, and What happened to Famine

What we know or can infer about Horsemen.

-It is possible to sever a body part from a Horseman, at least with Ruby's knife. Does the body part persist after severing or just the ring? I took a look through the relevant scenes in 5.02 and couldn't tell. There was blood, but the seperated fingers, if they were there were out of shot.

-Removing the ring ends the power over the victims immediately. Any actions undertaken while under the Horseman's influence with lingering consequences (killing people, eating oneself to death, drinking demon blood) retain those lingering consequences (guilt and PTSD, being dead, and detoxing respectively). It's not a 'nothing ever happened' resolution.

-Whether removing the ring causes the Horseman to poof away, chariot and all, or whether War ran away *ahem* 'retreated' as a tactical choice upon being disarmed to the point he could no longer maintain control over his operation isn't something that can be determined with the available evidence.

-Is a Horsemen's power being entirely bound up with their ring? Hm. I don't particularly buy that. It could be a focus object, whereby power is channeled into specific form, maybe. Based on the evidence aired though, there's no concrete way to tell. Hypothetical only. That way lies madness. Also, Alastair had a sickle from Death in "Death Takes a Holiday" or at least that was the implication. If it had served the same purpose as a ring, I don't think Alastair would casually have it, but I could be wrong.

-Famine eats souls. He gets a direct personal benefit and energy gain from his actions. What did War get from his power trip? Energy derived from chaos?

-Famine was weak, needed a guard of demons, needed to stockpile energy source, build up. Weakened state... hm. I do wonder if they all start weak when they enter the mortal plane and that's why Death has been out of the SPN 'verse news for the last while. However, percysowner suggested here in comments that Death was raised to control the Reapers so it would be easier for Famine to harvest souls without worrying about Reaper interference, which makes real strategic sense. In which case, I want a Reaper uprising against messing with the natural order led by Tessa, nowish please! :-)

What we know about Sam's power

Sam's basic bag o' trix:

-Removal from host and sending to Hell (associated hand motion, palm out, fingers slightly bent, the start of a grasping motion maybe. Directing down into the ground a the demon goes back to Hell)

-Causing pain/restraining? (associated hand motion, half-closed fist, kind of clawlike)

-Burning out/killing (associated hand motion, hand flat, palm out.)
(above screencaps from marishna, I did the rest)

The hand motions seem to be relatively consistent so far.

-More blood = more power. Sam wiped out the demon flunkies after draining the demon nurse in 4.22, and then went on to kill Lilith. In 5.14 he drained two flunkies and he's got at least that kind of power again. Is it enough to kill a Horseman? Dunno.

-Famine was not possessed by or hosting the demons (or was he?? hm, some kind of internal compartmentalisation full of souls used as batteries a la Matrix (I blame the demon suits for the Matrix on the brain), souls could be there and caught, used as energy sources in a capacitor array? o.O) Famine is in essence a soulburner. He consumes souls for energy.

Okay, sorry, back on track. Dispossession, not likely, not a possession case, demons not likely to be trying to retain position. Famine is retaining them. Sam removing the demons versus an externally willed resistance rather than the will of the demons themselves.

Famine's been expending energy. Whatever Sam did, he did just rip away a large replacement energy source, more if Famine's been snacking on lackeys who were still internalized. So one function of that maneuver was effectively to starve Famine. Which I think is a rather cool irony.

What exactly happened at the end of 5.14

-Sam expending effort. Closed fist. If the hand positions are consistent, this is not similar to the killing hand motion. Restraining or in this case ... gaining a better grip to pull against Famine's will?

-Famine expressing shock or pain

-Demon smoke escaping from a location where one would not expect an orifice in a human. No blood, and 5.02 showed that Horsemen bleed, so unknown whether this is causing damage or no. I suspect it is. Hard to say.

-Sam bleeding due to effort. This happens when he's underpowered or under-trained for the situation. Given he's never tried to pull a whole bunch of demons out of a Horseman before, and is doing it on a max of two demon flunkies in his tank, so to speak, understandable to have a bleed.

Now. Things go 'splody:

-Early boom

-Mid-splody boom

-After boom. Ish.

Famine still corporeally present at the end there, and looks about as in one piece as he did at the start, just more slumpy.

-Sam hangs on a beat after things stop exploding, implying there's something still there to be hung onto. Maybe making sure the demons are gone rather than hanging around as an available food source.

-Dean's eyeline says something is there. It could be the empty chair, but I don't think so.

So. Famine's either knocked out or dead, yet without a vanishing act. I would say KO'd, because while Dean and Castiel's reactions are very much 'OMGWTFBBQ!?!' immediately afterward, the subsequent later reaction of Dean at the junkyard doesn't seem quite freaked enough for Sam to have flat-out killed Famine. Dean's an expert suppressor and masker though. Castiel is maybe a better barometer in this case, and he seems more worried about Dean and Sam than freaking out, although he's not very emotional and has a very different perspective on things, so... arg.

I say Famine was just knocked out, not killed by Sam. I think Dean and Castiel's reactions would have been different if the case had been otherwise, and I think Famine would have gone poof if he'd been dead.

Now, just watch. 5.15 will air and they'll all be going "OMG I can't believe Sam killed a Horseman with his brain!" just to spite me.

(One more thing. I noticed Dean's reaction to Sam in the reaction post, but until I did this close watch, I missed Castiel's expression.


Oh wow. Sam is hooped.)

Anyway. No doubt this has all already been discussed to death, but that's my random thoughts about it.

(PLEASE, NO SPOILERS OR REFERENCES TO SPOILERY MATERIAL IN COMMENTS! The definition of spoiler for this journal is located in left hand sidebar and includes references to promo material as spoilers. Theory and speculation based on aired episodes only.)

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Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: "The Vision" ~ Chris deBurgh

12 comments or Leave a comment
vikki From: vikki Date: March 18th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not much to add, but this is Castiel's OMGWTFSAM face in 4.16:

not quite as shocked but definitely just as perturbed.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: March 18th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know! And Sam just saved Castiel (and Dean) from something that was overpowering him again, too, except this time the something is a lot more powerful in general than an upper-level demon.
blackcat333_99 From: blackcat333_99 Date: March 19th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I am, based on the scanty evidence on hand, inclined to agree with your read on the situation. Also, Sam does specifically agree with Famine that he "can't kill a Horseman, but [he can still do the demons]".

I just wish we'd had an extra 5-10 seconds of those closing moments of this scene to make it a bit more clear.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: March 19th, 2010 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I think they left it inconclusive to keep people wondering over the Hiatus, and also not to overstep or undercut that moment of shock. It wouldn't have been difficult to add a line or action to solidify events.
blackcat333_99 From: blackcat333_99 Date: March 19th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I'll have to think on this line of thought, give it a chance to perculate. There may be some merit to it -- I certainly have not forgotten my irritation at not knowing FOR SURE exactly what happened there, if the boys collected one more ring, if Sam managed the heavy lifting all himself, or what. I do see where this might be very possible, I just wasn't a fan of the editing of the ending of this scene. Hmm. *ponders*
etoile444 From: etoile444 Date: March 19th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree, they could have shown the horseman slumped over and Dean cuts the ring off. We have to do a lot of assuming about Dean taking the ring. However, Famine clearly says to Sam: "Your powers don't work on me". Sam realizes this too and goes for Famine's insides, which happen to be filled with demons. I think Sam also used the fisty grab in "Death Takes a Holiday" with that demon who killed Pam. He just grabs hard and rips the dmeon out which likely kills the host, likely why he normally uses a gentle hand when he hopes the host might live. We already knew he could twist demons inside their hosts from what he did with Alastair and Cindy, so he knew it too and used it on Famine.

Love the parallel looks from Cas. And how, like in 4.16, Sam saves both Cas and Dean again by wielding his magic powers. Which, would be cool if they were an extension of Grace since the burning out of a demon (ala Alastair and Lillith) looks a lot like what we've seen the angels do.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: March 19th, 2010 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
He just grabs hard and rips the dmeon out which likely kills the host, likely why he normally uses a gentle hand when he hopes the host might live.

Ah! Very cool observation! I thought I'd seen the closed fist before but couldn't find it.

Which, would be cool if they were an extension of Grace since the burning out of a demon (ala Alastair and Lillith) looks a lot like what we've seen the angels do.

Hmm. I think maybe they're all inter-related. Not sure specifically how, but somehow.
blacklid From: blacklid Date: March 19th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't forget about Ava.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: March 19th, 2010 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Haven't forgotten about her (although I don't have her in my icons anymore, so I;ll go with Andy instead), but not sure of the exact correlation you mean. She had the demon control thing, but it seemed to be more of a command-style in that she gave orders and they obeyed than force-style where Sam seems to be telekinetically (on a soul level) directly manipulating the demons. Sam's methodology and sphere of control is kind of different from Ava's, and he's got a different set of motions and gestures. IIRC, Ava's motion was pretty much an 'I've got a headache' motion. Unless it's stated blankly as such by the fictional context, I never presume when speaking of psychic or magic powers that a specific set of motions accomplishes the same actions for everyone. More like that's the set of motions that works to tap whatever power is inside them. I should have made that clearer. :-)

Also, I guess she could have been drinking Acheri blood between waves of special kids; it would explain what she'd been living on in the intervening time since she'd dissapeared. And since Acheri are kind of a lesser demon, it would also explain why, if she was drinking demon blood, she didn't kick a lot more ass. She'd have been getting the Lite version.

So what's your theory on Ava?
blacklid From: blacklid Date: March 19th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
We are both coming at this idea from opposite sides. I was thinking of it as more of a mental exercise than a physical one, meaning that the behaviors are symptomatic, not instigators.

For example, Ava would hold the side of her head because that's what she did the first time she figured out that she could control demons. Thereafter, she thought she had to do that, or it caused such pain that pressing on her temples alleviated some of that pain. It was a learned situational behavior. For all intents and purposes, she may very well have been able to stand on her head and the demon would still have done as she wished it to, as long as it was able to.

In the case of Sam, I was interpreting all the different hand gestures (as a case of visual reference on Jared's part and also) as an extension of that same concept: he learned how to do it that way because it felt like the natural thing to do. Case in point are some of the demons themselves. When someone is thrown across the room, there are myriad gestures coming from each demon to create this action. Some use their hands, others use only a tilt of their heads, some just their eyes, others don't move or gesture at all. It could be a sign of power, but again, you're led to wonder what defines that power. Is it rank? Insufficient evidence. Is it metaphysical dominance? Possibly. But that means that power isn't tied to a physical or authoritarian aspect; it means that it's mostly mental.

That mental power is what Ava tapped into almost to the exclusion of any physical manifestation... look how long it took for Sam to figure out. We also know that Sam is capable of using kinetic powers without any outward show, such as when he moved the furniture. It was under extreme duress and he did it partly because he didn't have time to guess if he would be able to or not - he just knew he had to. Therefore, like drinking the demon blood - which Ruby told him he didn't need (the "Dumbo" comment in 4.22) - the power and the actions, no matter their permutation, is purely mental.

What I am waiting for so eagerly is for Sam himself to figure this out.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: March 20th, 2010 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
*nods* Yes. I agree.

Also, Sam has the capacity to be scary as hell without being inhabited by Lucifer. I'm starting to wonder if Sam does say yes, he says yes because he thinks he can overpower Lucifer rather than being possessed by him.
blacklid From: blacklid Date: March 21st, 2010 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, totally. Sam's pride often presents itself; and often takes credit for attributes of their condition that are actually a credit to someone else. Without spoiling, I'll say that this should be explored more in depth. ;)
12 comments or Leave a comment