Vivisecting Supernatural- Stockholm Syndrome In Repo Man

This post is partly in reponse to a post I saw concerning Samifer, and partly in response to a comment on my previous post. You know who you are šŸ™‚

I won’t name the post in question, but it contained words to the effect that when Edlund wrote rapey comments into the Hallucifer scenes that he did not know what impression these would give. These, if you recall, include where Hallucifer says to Sam ‘Real interaction again. I miss that- the rapier wit, the wittier rape’. That’s probably the most explicit, others being ‘You’re my little bitch in every sense of the term and ‘Long time no spooning’.

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This person said the writers did not seem to realise that they weren’t actually being funny, they were implying rape. Which I find ridiculous. Of course they knew they were implying rape. They were more than implying rape. And I doubt that if SPN wanted to be funny it would have to resort to rape jokes. Not that I’d class these comments as jokes- Sam certainly wasn’t laughing.

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Now I’ve got that out of my system, onto the real substance of this meta.

I recently rewatched Repo Man- which I think is one of the best episodes of Season Seven- and, quite apart from the rape comments, I noticed some disturbing parallels between the case they worked and Sam’s mental state at the time.

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The case concerned a man named Jeffrey, who, several years previously, was possessed. However, he fell in love with the demon possessing him- basically the SPN version of stockholm syndrome- and tried to summon it back into his body. He actually managed to call it up before the Winchesters could get a handle on the situation. When re-summoned, the demon enters the son of a woman affiliated with the Winchesters- Nora Havelock.

In the flashback at the episode’s start, it’s Dean who exorcises the demon. Later, it’s Nora. The possessions the story concerns are those of Jeffrey, Nora’s son and Sam. Conclusion: Nora is a mirror of Dean. Jeffrey and Nora’s son are mirrors of Sam.

The really interesting stuff in Repo Man is Sam and Hallucifer’s relationship. Of course, Hallucifer is Sam’s overactive subconscious, compartmentalising his centuries of torture and trauma into psychosis in order to cope. Hallucifer gives him vital information on Dean’s kidnapping by Jeffrey- information that Sam must have subconsciously known. Just like with Nora’s son, it’s a hostage situation inside Sam’s head.

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Of course, Sam must give in to Hallucifer and acknowledge him to get the information that will allow him to save Dean (phone call for Swan Song). But if the information is what Sam already knew, doesn’t that suggest that Sam was subconsciously creating an excuse for himself to acknowledge, and thus let in, Hallucifer?

The idea that Sam might have had some deep-buried Stockholm syndrome isn’t too far-fetched. He was in Hell for centuries with only Michael, Lucifer and Adam- and, in Lucifer’s own words, he and Sam were ‘MFEO’.

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It’s also interesting that Hallucifer won’t let Sam sleep, to the point that he nearly dies in The Born-Again Identity.

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Sam has sleep issues all the way through, starting with the second ever episode, Wendigo. In Bloody Mary, four episodes later, he asks Dean, ‘Why’d you let me fall asleep?’ The nightmare that he was plagued with in that episode was of Jess burning and dying on the ceiling; Repo Man ends with Hallucifer preventing him from sleeping, and then engulfing him in flames. I’ve written in previous metas how Sam viewed Hell as a kind of purification- he said in Season Seven that he felt no guilt anymore after paying his debts in Hell, and in Season Eight, when being burned alive from the inside by the trials, he said they were purifying him. By setting fire to the bed on which he’s sitting at the end of Repo Man, could Sam’s subconscious be trying to purify him of wanting the purification/punishment of Lucifer in his head?

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Oh, that’s messed up. And paradoxical. And messed up.

And I could talk til kingdom come about the fact that it’s the bed that went up in flames, but I won’t.

I freakin’ love Ben Edlund.

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41 thoughts on “Vivisecting Supernatural- Stockholm Syndrome In Repo Man

  1. Once again ,excellent meta. Some well thought out points. Especially about Sam’s Hallucifer parallel to Jeffrey’s situation.
    And you’re absolutely right, Edlund and the others knew full well exactly what they were stating when they had Hallucifer make his comments. This was not a mistake or a joke and I never saw it as such, either.And although that may not have been what happened, Sam would most certainly see all of it as a violation and that’s how it would express itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true. Possession’s always been equated to rape in SPN. I mean, that scene in Road Trip where Sam got double possessed by Crowley and Gadreel… Jesus.
      It just really pisses me off when people think the writers are thick.

      Like

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  3. Wait, Charlie dies????
    I thought you said this was okay to read, wren!

    Lol, jk, I know she’s does. Haven’t seen it yet though so don’t know how.
    I agree with you, I think when you consider how long the shows been running and how much stuff they’ve been through throughout the whole show, it’s naive to think that something written into a scene hasn’t been thought about and written in for the reason they intended. If you take the context it’s written in, it easy to see that the intention was what it was, to reference rape, it wasnt supposed to be a dark joke either. Like you said, Sam wasn’t laughing, those scenes were pretty serious, okay, a few bits here and there were funny but in a sarcastic kind of way as opposed to just dark humour. If they had unintentionally added stuff like this, which is a common argument throughout, the show would not still be running because everything would be wrong…. Does that make sense….it’s still going because it’s very well thought out, I don’t doubt that there are mistakes here and there but on a whole, it’s pretty flawless, epesically when you thi of how much they have to research stuff like all the lore.
    Anyway, yeah, I agree. What was meant to be meant, was meant. I don’t really think there’s much else of an argument.

    Liked by 1 person

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