Sam Winchester’s Shaky Relationship With Normal
In an earlier post, I talked about Sam’s relationship with women. What I’m wondering is how his lack of having had a mother figure in his life has affected his relationship with women and his idea of “normal” life. The excerpt from that post below looks at the significant women in his life:
Jessica Moore – (Pilot) Jess represented everything that Sam had ever wanted for himself – safety, security, stability. She embodied an idealized way of life that Sam had never experienced and gave him companionship, affection, support, without any of the obligation of family. They chose each other. For a boy who didn’t remember his mother, she was his first female relationship. She will always loom large in his heart and memory for that, but he never told her the truth about himself, and it is questionable whether they could have made it as a couple in the long run if she had lived.
Lori Sorensen (Hookman 1.7) – Just seven eps after Jess’ death, Sam is feeling some pretty strong attraction to another girl, but he won’t let himself act on it. Part of the reason is that he’s mourning Jess, but there’s something else to it. Lori mentions that people around her keep dying, and Sam says that he thinks he knows how she feels. Despite not yet knowing the truth about Jess’ death, he feels responsible and is avoiding a relationship because of it. At the end of the ep Dean suggests that they hang around so Sam can spend time with her, but Sam shakes off the suggestion.
Meg (Scarecrow 1.11) – Does Meg count since she was a demon dressed as a cute blonde hitchhiker? Sam was attracted to her certainly, but he didn’t hesitate to walk away from her, despite her pleas to join her on her trip to California, the moment he thought Dean was in danger. Without a backward glance, he hotwired a car and went to save his brother.
Sarah Blake (Provenance 1.19) – Throughout Season 1, Dean encourages Sam to hook up with girls, but Sam doesn’t consider it until he meets Sarah. She’s smart and funny and doesn’t freak out about the Truth. She insists on being a part of the hunt and does okay for a civilian first encountering the supernatural. My feeling is that she would have actually been a better choice for Sam than Jess. Dean was all proud “That’s my boy” when Sam kissed her at the end. Still, Sam’s on a mission to find John and what killed Jess, and he leaves. Crowley killing her in S8 is one of the things that really broke Sam and made him willing to die in order to close the gates of hell.
Madison (Heart 2.17) – Sera Gamble wrote this one, and holy shit do I miss her sometimes. She got Sam, and this was a nice piece of exploration. S2 deals a lot with the idea of monsters and whether they can be anything but evil, and it is a crucial exploration because Sam’s slow slide to becoming a monster has begun. He falls hard for Madison, and part of his desperation to save her is a belief in her humanity, but also the need himself to hold onto his humanity when he isn’t sure he can. Dean stopped encouraging Sam to hook up with girls after Madison. Perhaps their lives just got too hairy, or maybe Dean realized that Sam was incapable of casual hook ups. He gave his heart, and Dean couldn’t bear to see Sam hurt that way again.
Bela Talbot (Dream a Little Dream 3.10) – Sam dreams of Bela showing up in a trench coat with lingerie beneath. This little scene is played for laughs when Sam awakes and Dean teases him about what he was dreaming of and because Sam is jumpy when Bela actually arrives, but it’s interesting in that we actually see Sam as a sexual individual when he is normally portrayed as touchy feely, only associating sexual attraction with emotional intimacy. Sam and Dean don’t even like Bela, certainly don’t trust her, she shot Sam, but his libido still responds to her. It is interesting seeing Sam portrayed as a just a guy with random sexual urges. Gamble was involved with the story on this one as well.
Ruby (season 4) – Ruby gave Sam what he needed when Dean went to hell – a cause, revenge. She twisted things around to make his cause fit her cause. In her evil way, she loved him. She gave him something else, something he’d always needed: Someone who believed in him, and that is what came between him and Dean. While Dean doubted him, Ruby believed in him, and that is what Dean couldn’t understand no matter how many times Sam begged him to. (Interestingly enough, that is coming into play in S8 with Sam asking Dean to believe in him. Wonder if Carver will have it play out differently or whether Dean will fall back into the same old trap of doubting and alienating Sam.)
Dr. Cara Roberts (Sex and Violence 4.14 was written by Cathryn Humphries who wrote so many great eps. She’s missed.) – While Dean was off getting seduced by a siren that patterned itself on Sam, Sam was getting a quickie on the doctor’s desk. This is I think the only time we see Sam have a casual sexual encounter. Sam is pretty screwed up at this point. He’s been conspiring with Ruby, drinking her blood and having sex with her, and I’d think that the hook up is Sam attempting to make a connection with a human and his own humanity.
Season 6: Annie and the other women that Soulless!Sam hooked up with hardly seem to count, except to say that it shows that Sam does have a healthy libido. I think that we can see Soulless!Sam as representative of Sam’s id. He’s what Sam would be without all the self-control, self-doubt and repressed impulses. Sam is a victim of his own desire for ‘normal’ in many ways. He’s obsessed with it. Growing up he accepted sitcom families and the families of classmates as representative of a normal life, and that idealistic kid inside believes that normal people follow the rules.
Amy Pond (The Girl Next Door 7.03) – The first girl Sam ever loved, his first kiss, she saved his life by killing her own mother, and she turned out to be a monster. This ep is really more about Dean and Sam than it is about Sam and a woman. Dean kills Amy despite telling Sam that he trusts him. He clearly doesn’t, still. Maybe it’s about Sam’s head being broken or all the times his heart’s been broken; maybe it’s just the same old thing with Dean. Whatever. In the end, Sam agrees that Dean did the right thing, and if he hadn’t been so close to her, he probably would have done the same. Dean admits that lying to Sam felt wrong. We think maybe they are making progress. We’re wrong; welcome to S8.
Amelia Richardson (Season 8) – On the surface, Amelia is supposed to harken back to Jess. She represents a normal life of security and stability, but she’s nothing like Jess. She doesn’t build Sam up. Her first words cut him down. She’s manipulative and bullying, far more like Ruby than Jess. It’s only Sam’s belief in “the rules” that caused him to do the honorable thing and leave her to her husband. And as with the Ruby situation, it was Dean’s lack of faith in him, putting Benny above Sam, that had Sam considering going back to her. Meg’s use of the term ‘unicorn’ to describe Amelia and Castiel in Goodbye Stranger (8.17) indicates to me that she recognized them in that context as mythological creatures, something idealized and unattainable. Sam has failed to recognize that. It isn’t just his life as a hunter or his devotion to Dean that prevents him from having a normal life with Amelia. It is that she isn’t what he’s imagining her to be. (end excerpt)
My question is how does Sam appear to have such apparently solid, intimate relationships with women given that there were pretty much none in his life prior to Jess? In fact, how is Sam not incredibly anti-social given his lack of sustained relationships other than Dean and an often absent, verbally abusive father? Dean had four years, the most important years, of normal childhood development in a relatively stable home with a loving, nurturing mother and caring, attentive father. Sam had six months. After that, he was raised by a loving, but fearful child and an erratic, obsessed father. He couldn’t remember a stable home life. How would that color his relationships with women and his idea of “normal”?
This entry was posted on September 25, 2013 by spnmonster. It was filed under Characters, Meta, Sam and was tagged with amelia richardson, dean winchester, jessica moore, lori sorensen, sam winchester, Sarah Blake, supernatural.