itsnotmymind (itsnotmymind) wrote,

Metamorphosis: Jack

Jack is of course very obviously a stand-in for Sam, down to horrifying his loved ones with the blood on his face. Jack turns into something non-human, as we were told - but never shown - Sam would do.

But there is a huge, huge difference between Jack and S4 Sam. Addiction metaphor notwithstanding, Sam doesn’t drink blood because he is out-of-control. The bloody face in The Rapture is a big exception. Sam stops drinking blood at the end of Metamorphosis because he’s afraid of becoming like Jack, but when Sam starts drinking blood again, it’s a combination of practical reasons and a desire to be powerful - very different from the physical draw we see Jack have.

Sam makes the final decision that will (supposedly) turn him into a monster when he drinks nurse Cindy in Lucifer Rising. But he doesn’t seem the slightest bit out of control. He doesn’t express any physical desire to drink her. He does so for strategic reasons - and, okay, a touch of hurt feelings from Dean’s voicemail. I’m sure he enjoyed drinking her, but the craving to drink blood did not seem to factor into his decision. There’s no sense he had any difficulty whatsoever in physically resisting.

Back in Metamorphosis, Sam decides to stop drinking blood because he doesn’t want to become like Jack. But Travis had it wrong. After turning, Jack is not a complete monster. He’s still human in many ways. He cares about his wife even though she fled him. Perhaps he couldn’t have lived like that, perhaps he couldn’t have resisted more killing. But Travis was wrong, and there is ambiguity there.

So yes, embracing your monstrous nature will turn you into "something [your] not", to quote Sam in Playthings. And Sam doesn’t want to be something he’s not. But Jack's out-of-control monstrousness isn’t Sam's motivation, this isn’t his trial. The addiction was real, but it was a smokescreen.

So after having been reamed out by Dean and learning the angels aren’t on his side, it seems like the world is conspiring to tell Sam that he’ll become something terrible and awful if he keeps doing what he’s doing with Ruby. So he stops.

Jack died because he gave up and lost control. Sam released Lucifer because he maintained self-control and fought for control of his life and determined to choose his own destiny every step of the way. Sam’s loss of control in The Rapture was far, far from one of his most dangerous moments. Jack is not Sam. Jack is not even a warning message for Sam. Jack is a false warning message. The weaknesses (for lack of a better word) that Jack succumbs too are completely different from the personality traits that will be Sam’s downfall. Sam doesn’t fail because he disregards the moral of Jack’s story. He fails because he pays too close attention.

This entry was originally posted at Please comment either here or there, whichever works best for you.
Tags: sam winchester is my boy, spn

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