Angst – is it worth writing about if it only causes trouble?

After viewing ‘Blood Brother’ last night it really spooked me, how off both boys were with each other. How they almost always came to blows about something that was annoying them. The scene ended with Sam wanting to knife Benny and Dean’s simple no head shake said it all. So if we are to examine Angst, is it worth the heart ache our boys go through basically for making good drama. Do characters really grow with angst in the mix. Or are they better of without it?

supernatural season 8 episode Blood Brother  ....................................
How bad can tension really get?

Lovable Benny, as we now no was only bought in as a plot device to stir trouble between the brothers. Just to save Sam and cause further friction for Sam over Dean in Dean not being able to turn to Sam for help. So perhaps could Benny have been better used. As his character developed into someone rather special, as us fans adored him. So had the writers got Benny all wrong, or in Sam’s case right. Is angst that golden tool to drive characters further apart.  Cas also has been in the past used as a wedge, but had become a firmer friend in both the boys lives, so is Cas different in this respect or not? Benny also featured heavily in driving a wedge between Dean and Cas in purgatory, so Benny was underneath a little devil, when we look back for causing further turmoil. So he perhaps wasn’t as  lovable as we first thought? Can another character really cause so much unease, and disharmony? When we as fans really love the guy underneath?

Loveable Benny, was he bought in just to cause unnecessary angst?
Loveable Benny, was he bought in just to cause unnecessary angst?

So if we didn’t have these tense moments would the show be so dull, and uninviting. Would it all be on the same level, and would this be more to our satisfaction. I for one don’t mind angst, if they can explain characters actions, and not just push them to one side. In the shows history, I think this season has been one of the worst for causing unnecessary tension. It has to be said, that siblings all the time argue and make up which is always inevitable. So with this in mind, do the boys only grow stronger or does it pull them further apart. Sometimes angst can pull siblings further apart, and some may never even get back together. But since this is Supernatural we know our boys always come back to the fold, where they are used to being, around each other. 

supernatural season 8.............
Benny also came between Dean and Cas regarding the human portal.

So what does the future hold if the boys continue to fall out. Will there come a time when they think enough is enough and they can’t stand being around each other. Will the writers have to take a different tack. Jeremy has this year proved to us that the boys have broken one cycle of Sam not looking for his brother. Was this wise, or a disaster in Sam’s characterization. This is just one of many niggling little factors which have thrown him up in the air. One to prove a point to us that he always felt he was a failure in his brothers eyes. So most of this angst I can work out and piece those events together. So overall angst this season has not over bothered me, as I thought it was mid season and even further back. Could this have been handled much better. Could Jeremy have gone in a different direction to Sam not gaining Dean’s love and trust. Is this a real pinnacle now, that we have established why this canon was written. Has it been crucial to explore angst, in a different way to really change a characters persona?

So Aunty Bella is waiting for her angels to participate in assuming is angst a necessary part of writing, to bring characters closer together. Is drama just as important to move characters forward and bring them into the 21st century. Has our writing team been clever in the fact that they can break up, and make up with angst being its primary core. Can it be developed satisfactorily, without harming a characters core. So get typing little ones, as this touchy subject is so waiting patiently for a response.

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28 thoughts on “Angst – is it worth writing about if it only causes trouble?

    1. Angst is necessary. It is at the center of good literature for all the reasons you mention.
      It definitely is, as I said I don’t mind angst if it turns out for the better, not worse. Characters need to develop, and grow. So its an important part of writing that we use unpleasant tack-tics to push the story along.

      Thanks for your support,
      Love Aunty B xxxxx

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  1. I just have one last thing to say about Sam not looking for Dean and then I’m letting this go. There are a lot of people finding it really hard to reconcile Sam’s behaviour with the Sam they have developed in their head. But here’s the thing : if you’re having that kind of trouble then there’s one of two reasons. The Sam in your head is the wrong and you’re not seeing the entirety of this character or or you really believe what he did was entirely out of character.

    I’m a proponent of #1, and here’s why : We’ll start with Deans purpose in the show. I have always believed that Dean is the emotional vented and the ethical compass of this show.He is the one character around which every other person on the show makes their emotional decisions. That said, lets go back to season three’s Mystery Spot. Finally after who knows how many days of watching Dean die, Dean finally dies and doesn’t come back. The result : Sam loses his s***. He has nothing to anchor him emotionally or ethically for about six months and everything he does during that time is simply a means to an end. He becomes a machine, intensely focused on one thing and one thing only : killing the trickster.

    Fast forward to Dean’s death at Lillith ‘s hands. Once again his compass gone he swings towards revenge,but Dean returns and Sam finds it difficult to regain his equilibrium because of the demon blood.

    Fast forward to season five. Sam knows he will die when he goes through with his plan to trap Lucifer. Heasks Dean to go out and live the normal, happy, apple -pie life that he is himself is never going to have because above everything else in the world he wants Dean to be happy and to be free of hunting and be safe. He thinks that promise he extracts from Dean is a gift. Don’t look for me, don’t get me out of the cage.

    At the end of season seven he firmly and completely believes that Dean is dead and once again, unable to function without his emotional compass he swings towards the other extreme of detachment. He removes himself from the world and its concerns, finds a safe heaven in Amelia and intensely focuses this time on what he wants and his needs and bis grief.He’s basically doing what he made Dean promise to do at the end of season five and without Dean’s influence his pendulum has simply swung in the opposite direction from the last time Dean died.

    All this is just my reasons for mot being upset that he didn’t look for Dean. It is entirely in keeping with Sam character to make bad decisions without Dean there to intercept. Without hos big brother, he’s rudderless and has no direction to point to, so he chooses a direction-in this case the opposite direction from the last time Dean died – and with the same single mixed focus with which he unfed the trickster and Lillith -and he can see how well that turned out for him -he focused on NOT doing the same thing he’s done before.He turns his back on all of it only to later find out once again he made the wrong choice.

    Now just because people don’t like that choice or disagree wiith that choice, doesn’t mean that he didn’t have solid reason for making it. After a while this is a complaint that be tomes less about the character and more about how the character is doing things you don’t personally like. Characters have to who they are and this character has been emotionally consistent

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    1. @Supergirl This isn’t meant to be a rant against you. It’s not meant to be a rant at all really but I’m continually puzzled as to why peolle wont let this go as although it’s not the point of the season it does inform everything Sam does during it.

      Ive heard this complaint about a million times and how some people think it’s out of character and my arguement is that it’s entirely in keeping with Sam’s character to do crazy s*** we don’t agree with when Deans not around to give him that smack upside his head that he so desperately needs. Dean keeps Sam sane and without him you get a Sam who trying not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again .Who-doesn’t try to get Dean back after his death.
      Sam said it himself in an earlier episode and even Dean said it :every supernatural creature knows they are each other ‘s greatest weakness and are perfectly willing to take advantage of that.

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      1. What I mean to say is: you have to let a character be who they are, not chastise them for not doing what you’d like them to do. Just like in the real world people make bone headed decisions you’re not going to understand. That doesn’t mean its out of character for that person to make that decision. It means only that its not the decision YOU would make, which is of course, entirley in keeping with who you are. Sam not looking for Dean is entierly in keeping with the kind of person HE is and what he’s lived through and it is emphatically NOT against cannon for him to do this. C ‘mon, drinking demon blood and sleeping with a demon is pretty extreme and I didn’t encounter half as much whining about that as I do about this one slightly less extreme decision he made. In a character known to make extreme choices removing himself from the world and becoming emotionally detached is just another extreme. Just in the opposite direction from revenge.

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        1. What I mean to say is: you have to let a character be who they are, not chastise them for not doing what you’d like them to do. Just like in the real world people make bone headed decisions you’re not going to understand. That doesn’t mean its out of character for that person to make that decision. It means only that its not the decision YOU would make, which is of course, entirely in keeping with who you are. Sam not looking for Dean is entirely in keeping with the kind of person HE is and what he’s lived through and it is emphatically NOT against cannon for him to do this. C ‘mon, drinking demon blood and sleeping with a demon is pretty extreme and I didn’t encounter half as much whining about that as I do about this one slightly less extreme decision he made. In a character known to make extreme choices removing himself from the world and becoming emotionally detached is just another extreme. Just in the opposite direction from revenge.
          I guess its being a bit blinkered. You don’t always view things in the way that is there. I have a habit of reading things that are not there, so this was there and we didn’t spot it, well until now. I felt bad for Sam and the whole drinking thing, but the blood or in particularly Ruby’s blood had damaged him, and wasn’t a natural human thing to do to see someone drinking blood, its something you would expect to see a Vampire do. He got carried away, and basically taken over by the stuff, so knew his character then wasn’t true. As you say it was an extreme. So Sam for someone intelligent has made some really stupid choices. What he really sees as the correct choice is the opposite. So if he reversed that choice he would have been spot on. So I was right in affect that Jeremy was breaking that cycle, but in affect was still keeping to canon.

          Thanks for the comments,
          Love Aunty B xxxx

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      2. ” Dean keeps Sam sane and without him you get a Sam who trying not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again .Who-doesn’t try to get Dean back after his death.”
        THIS! This is also why when people complain that Dean does nothing it gets me crazy…he holds the whole show together!

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        1. ”Dean keeps Sam sane and without him you get a Sam who trying not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Who-doesn’t try to get Dean back after his death.”
          THIS! This is also why when people complain that Dean does nothing it gets me crazy…he holds the whole show together!

          But you also get the other side of this coin too, if Sam has died,(more than once in the shows history) Dean has also gone of his compass. I firmly remember the end of season 2 and he said to a dead Sam what am I to do’ and goes off and makes a deal with a demon to bring his brother back. But yes I get what your saying primarily Dean is the one that keeps them both on the straight and narrow.

          Thanks for the comments,
          Love Aunty B xxxx

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          1. This is true. The brothers really are extremely dependent to each other. Dean loses his s*** too, when Sam is gone. Sam’s presence on earth gives Dean a purpose. If you have never lost someone very close to you, you have know idea how rudderless,adrift and unfocused you can feel and some people never recover from that feeling.

            They are even more co-dependent now that everyone else they know is dead and they are all alone. Can you imagine what that must have been like for Sam? It’s not just Dean who’s gone. It’s everyone he ever knew except Kevin and they weren’t close. I think what he did can be forgiven as the kind of decision a person makes when they are in an extreme situation. It’s obvious that he thought looking for Dean was a good decision at that time. It is only in hindsight that he found out how wrong a decision that was and is subsumed by guilt for the rest of the season for that.

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            1. This is true. The brothers really are extremely dependent to each other. Dean loses his s*** too, when Sam is gone. Sam’s presence on earth gives Dean a purpose. If you have never lost someone very close to you, you have know idea how rudderless, adrift and unfocused you can feel and some people never recover from that feeling.
              I can by this and we were on the forum along the right tracks about Sam was suffering from grief. That it knocked him off kilter. I viewed most of this as it happened, still not completing all those links. So this finally could have a purpose.

              They are even more co-dependent now that everyone else they know is dead and they are all alone. Can you imagine what that must have been like for Sam? It’s not just Dean who’s gone. It’s everyone he ever knew except Kevin and they weren’t close. I think what he did can be forgiven as the kind of decision a person makes when they are in an extreme situation. It’s obvious that he thought looking for Dean was a good decision at that time. It is only in hindsight that he found out how wrong a decision that was and is subsumed by guilt for the rest of the season for that.
              Yes, I did buy it. I did go down that route of how bad he was. Thinking only two years previously (if you include the time jump) in 7 x 17 Sam had a break down. So I could sense it was a reaction of this. Also all the times that Dean had died before in his arms. The lengths he went to also to get his brother back from the dead was also a very high factor. So I can see this change in tack. That his emotions got the better of him and came to the wrong decision to not look for his bro. It is a very believable theory.

              Thanks for the comments,
              Love Aunty B xxxx

              Like

    2. “Now just because people don’t like that choice or disagree wiith that choice, doesn’t mean that he didn’t have solid reason for making it. After a while this is a complaint that be tomes less about the character and more about how the character is doing things you don’t personally like. Characters have to who they are and this character has been emotionally consistent”

      Great post and I agree. It is frustrating when people call OOC! whenever soemthing happens they dont like. The writers and show is telling us it IS in character but those people close their eyes to the truth. Plenty of things happen I dont like but I have to accept it cause its canon.

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      1. “Now just because people don’t like that choice or disagree with that choice, doesn’t mean that he didn’t have solid reason for making it. After a while this is a complaint that be tomes less about the character and more about how the character is doing things you don’t personally like. Characters have to who they are and this character has been emotionally consistent”

        Great post and I agree. It is frustrating when people call OOC! whenever something happens they don’t like. The writers and show is telling us it IS in character but those people close their eyes to the truth. Plenty of things happen I don’t like but I have to accept it cause its canon.
        I thought he was OOC because I didn’t fully understand what was going on. Its taken me ages to get this. Now I’m not bright by any means, and its taken a lot of talking on other forums to get to this point. So in a way the writers wrote it in a hard way that very few fans have cottoned on to. I knew it all fitted together and was not entirely false, but it was just getting to the nitty gritty, and working out this I’s and the T’s. I don’t think still the writers have done a great job in putting this lot of it across. Now I can see it in black and white.

        Thanks for the comments,
        Love Aunty B xxxx

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      2. I agree that Sam was Sam this season but those little looks, and pauses in his voice, the uncertainty when he is sitting at Victor’s breakfast table, made him seem what folks call OOC. His reactions or non reactions to situations made him seem off, but his basic character stayed consistent. It was just Sam’s increasing feelings of how he disappointed Dean, which culminated in “So?” Remember the show runner JC knew where the show was going this season, so the direction of how to act a scene had to get performances from J2 that would lay the ground work for the finale without even the actors knowing where they were going so even more appreciation for the performances, writing of the arc story and as I mentioned in another post, the symmetry.

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        1. I agree that Sam was Sam this season but those little looks, and pauses in his voice, the uncertainty when he is sitting at Victor’s breakfast table, made him seem what folks call OOC. His reactions or non reactions to situations made him seem off, but his basic character stayed consistent. It was just Sam’s increasing feelings of how he disappointed Dean, which culminated in “So?” Remember the show runner JC knew where the show was going this season, so the direction of how to act a scene had to get performances from J2 that would lay the ground work for the finale without even the actors knowing where they were going so even more appreciation for the performances, writing of the arc story and as I mentioned in another post, the symmetry.
          So again Ikeke is correct as regards Sam not looking for Dean so those character traits are in keeping with Sam. With this knowledge that we were given in the finale. It could be a step in the right direction that never really drifted off course. It was there all the time.

          Thanks for your support,
          Love Aunty B xxxxx

          Like

    3. I just have one last thing to say about Sam not looking for Dean and then I’m letting this go. There are a lot of people finding it really hard to reconcile Sam’s behavior with the Sam they have developed in their head. But here’s the thing : if you’re having that kind of trouble then there’s one of two reasons. The Sam in your head is the wrong and you’re not seeing the entirety of this character or or you really believe what he did was entirely out of character.
      Firstly IKEKE I have read the post, and if I could I wish I could HUG you so CLOSE. You have made my day, my year, my everything. 🙂 I am so happy with these notes. So all of this we’ve presumable not seen unfold yet. Or have we and not realized it all? How long did it take you to piece this together. I knew there was a point to this and had not spotted it. I wonder how many other fans actually have. I had heard this before about Dean’s compass and that he does keep everyone around him together and sane. I am so happy with this I could cry, in a good way. This is the most believable assumption I’ve seen so far. At first I thought it was the second part of your analyzes but not that pendulum has swung to the first theory. So this is why now the finale scene in the chapel is making perfect sense.

      At the end of season seven he firmly and completely believes that Dean is dead and once again, unable to function without his emotional compass he swings towards the other extreme of detachment.
      I so relate to this fact now, and no that he was in character. But I’m still not sure now about his anger and some other stuff like Martin and Benny. But I am far more happier and am mentally happy too which is a cool place to be.

      Oh, did I say I feel elated. 🙂 I can inch past Sam not looking for Dean in a GOOD WAY!!

      Thanks for the comments, 🙂
      Love Aunty B xxxxx

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      1. “I so relate to this fact now, and no that he was in character. But I’m still not sure now about his anger and some other stuff like Martin and Benny. But I am far more happier and am mentally happy too which is a cool place to be.

        Oh, did I say I feel elated. 🙂 I can inch past Sam not looking for Dean in a GOOD WAY!!

        I actually found that Sams allowing martin to handcuff Dean made me more upset than his not looking for Dean.I STILL dont understand it.

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  2. Two things: A) I think it was unthinkable and unforgivable that Sam didn’t even TRY to find Dean. I have had a difficult time dealing with that and I do think it was a “disaster for Sam’s characterization” (thanks for the perfect terminology Aunty Bella!) and B) the subtle nod from Dean to Sam to not kill Benny was actually PERFECTLY done and it was actually showing the boys innate ability to communicate with each other almost intuitively thus showing me, anyway, a bonding moment. And I hope Benny comes back. I guess that’s three…

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    1. Two things: A) I think it was unthinkable and unforgivable that Sam didn’t even TRY to find Dean. I have had a difficult time dealing with that and I do think it was a “disaster for Sam’s characterization” (thanks for the perfect terminology Aunty Bella!) and B) the subtle nod from Dean to Sam to not kill Benny was actually PERFECTLY done and it was actually showing the boys innate ability to communicate with each other almost intuitively thus showing me, anyway, a bonding moment. And I hope Benny comes back. I guess that’s three…
      A)I have found it very hard to move past this whole business, I think its as you say a disaster and the writers should address it. As we know Sam is the intelligent one, the one with the brains, and for the writers not to even give us a proper explanation is so wrong on many levels. As it has destroyed not only Sam but the whole brother dynamics. The core of their relationship that they had a pact they would look no matter what. So I feel so upset over Sam’s character, and for Dean, as he deserves a reason as it affects them both.
      B)Yes, it was handled beautifully. Jensen has often mentioned how he enjoys mime acting without speech, and allowing his facial expressions to put the point across. They should do this more often. Considering even the actors didn’t no fully, what was going on they made a pretty damn good job of it all. I think also Dean could sense his brother was agitated by Benny, and was trying to smooth him, and the confrontation over. Apart from Samelia and Sam not looking for Dean, I loved most of this season. And yes, I do hope to god they find another story for Benny and he comes back. He’s a great accet.

      Thanks for the comments,
      Love Aunty B xxxxx

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      1. “A)I have found it very hard to move past this whole business, I think its as you say a disaster and the writers should address it”

        I dont think theres anything to address. He decided to not look period. It may not be what WE wanted him to do (i ceratinly wanted him to look) but its how he is being portrayed. Sam is KNOWN for bad choices and this is just another one of them.

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  3. Hi! My two cents again.
    Well, for the record there’s been more than one change-up to things besides Sam not looking for Dean. There’s Dean’s new maturity he’s showing towards others. He’s progressed quite a lot from the man he was when the series began in that he’s able to become such close friends with Benny. Also Dean listens to people now,in discussion instead of getting defensive or declaring “no Chick flick moments”. Remember that? Sam can much more easily get him to talk now. And also the change-up of having both boys be alive and together at the end of the season.

    I thought Benny served his purpose. I hated the angst at the beginning of the season because I didn’t understand what was instigating it and it did feel a little contrived. Both brothers acted like first-class jerks towards each other and it was very unpleasant to watch. In hindsight I understand that carver felt it necessary to tear down their relationship in order to build it back up and I’ll give him a pass on it this time, because the brothers grew out of this. They’ve taken some baby steps in beginning to resolve some of their issues and start acting like grown men instead of frightened children and that’s always a good thing.

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    1. Hi! My two cents again.
      Well, for the record there’s been more than one change-up to things besides Sam not looking for Dean. There’s Dean’s new maturity he’s showing towards others. He’s progressed quite a lot from the man he was when the series began in that he’s able to become such close friends with Benny. Also Dean listens to people now,in discussion instead of getting defensive or declaring “no Chick flick moments”. Remember that? Sam can much more easily get him to talk now. And also the change-up of having both boys be alive and together at the end of the season

      Yes, I did notice the change in Dean, since pre-hell and post hell also purgatory. How different he was after those encounters. I also remember thinking at the time how time changes a man, how very true. I love how Dean and Benny involved and became close in a short space of time, and what they would do for one another. I think this also shows us how versatile Jensen really is as an actor.

      I thought Benny served his purpose. I hated the angst at the beginning of the season because I didn’t understand what was instigating it and it did feel a little contrived. Both brothers acted like first-class jerks towards each other and it was very unpleasant to watch. In hindsight I understand that carver felt it necessary to tear down their relationship in order to build it back up and I’ll give him a pass on it this time, because the brothers grew out of this. They’ve taken some baby steps in beginning to resolve some of their issues and start acting like grown men instead of frightened children and that’s always a good thing.
      I think as we’ve both said on occasion we need to see the season pan out, to understand fully what was going on. Now I’ve seen it all progress, and re-watch its making so much sense. As you said it was very unpleasant to watch, which in respect then is good writing, as it was on par with the ending, which we then didn’t understand. As siblings we all fight, so this is Jeremy’s way of breaking this down and then return the relationship back to its former glory. Which I doubt has happened yet, but is well on the way. 🙂

      Thanks for the comments,
      Love Aunty B xxxxx

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  4. I thinka little angst is fine. But not for the majority of episodes. The mytharc should create the angst, not the brothers relationships. Im hoping Carver now has them in a good spot and we get a few episodes with just love between the brothers.
    I rewatched 8.01 and loved it (i fast forwarded thru the Amelia crap) Its a great episode. The music is great and Benny is still one of my fave characters.

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    1. I think a little angst is fine. But not for the majority of episodes. The myth arc should create the angst, not the brothers relationships. Im hoping Carver now has them in a good spot and we get a few episodes with just love between the brothers. I re-watched 8.01 and loved it (i fast forwarded threw the Amelia crap) Its a great episode. The music is great and Benny is still one of my fave characters.
      Benny is a favorite of mine too, and hope the bring him back. I don’t mind angsty moments even season 4 had its day. But this season was so off to start with it really did work me up. I agree the myth arc should create the angst. I just hope Carver doesn’t slip back and have the brothers fighting again. Even Jared has said he prefers his character if he is angsty, which surprises me. I guess as actors it gives them something to work with and use their skills on. I did enjoy 8 x 01 too now I have a better idea of what was going on, and there wasn’t anything supernatural behind it. But he left poor dog behind with her. What was he thinking. 😡

      Thanks for the comments,
      Love Aunty B xxxxx

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    2. Also, I just wanted to add I love this character. I love the actor too. Benny just has the most beautiful voice and he’s so heartfelt.

      I love the way he behaved towards Dean after Dean dumped him. He did what he did out of loyalty and compassion and a certain level of maturity.

      I also got the impression that Benny just loves people. He likes them and needs to have those connections which he was not really able to form because of what he was. It’s the reason he grew attached to Dean, I think.

      If you go back and watch the episodes, notice every scene in which he’s talking to Dean he’s always around crowds of people. At that funeral, in the park..At first I wondered if these were people he had some connection to or if he knew them , but no, he just likes being around humans. He seems to actually enjoy being around them but it hurts because they’re food and he’s trying to deny that part of himself.

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      1. To Ikeke and Barb,

        If you love Benny both of you watch the conventions at the Rome con, as Ty and Jensen and Jensen, Misha and Ty were so superb. Ty is so very HOT! He has a charming personality. He’s one for the ladies … 🙂

        Thanks for the comments,
        Love Aunty B xxxxx

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