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a queer and pleasant danger
Madam i’m Adam 
6th-Dec-2010 01:44 pm
tongues
I’ve noticed over the last few eps a number of people concerned that with all the talk of Sam in the cage with Lucifer and Michael, no mention is made of Adam.

Adam – as you will remember was killed by ghouls, brought back to life by Zachariah in a bait and switch con with Dean, and then reappeared as Michael’s vessel, before doing a double pike with a half twist into the cage with Samifer.

Now in Swan Song, Dean says “Adam, if you're in there somewhere, I am so sorry.” and Michael says: “Adam isn't home right now. “

Now, I think the writers’ intent was for us to take that to mean that Adam’s soul was not present, hence it didn’t end up with the cage. Likewise with Jimmy – after Castiel is exploded by Rapahel in Lucifer Rising, I think the intent was that the vessel was restored, but Jimmy is off in heaven.

Now of course I suppose this season has brought up the issue of the soul/body separation.

Sam is obviously still sentient (and hot) and feels physical sensations without his soul. Likewise, we know Castiel’s physical form retains something of its “Jimmy-ness” – eg the hunger for burgers in My Bloody Valentine and of course his recent tumescence.

So now we start to get into the metaphysics of what defines Self, and also the concept of the soul. We know souls are self aware from Dean’s time in hell, so presumably Sam’s soul is suffering terribly. This of course is the conundrum Dean and Sam (and us) are facing: surely Sam’s soul needs to be rescued from hell, yet what if returning it to RoboSam destroys him? If Sam’s soul is damaged beyond reckoning, what is too be gained by saving it? Seriously, and I have a meltdown trying to decide what to wear to work today.

So back to Adam – I suppose conceivably his physical form (roboAdam if you will) could be what is in the pit, and it like roboSam could be sentient. I just don't think that was the intent.

Just a note – I think SPN writers have set some basic rules around souls and vessels/possessed hosts etc, but they are not hard and fast. eg in the S5 companion there’s a discussion of why they felt they couldn’t bring Nicki Aycox back as Meg, yet they brought Anna back in her same body with a simple “I called in a favour”.

And where do vessels which seem to be flesh and blood go when their occupant returns to incorporeal form. When Cas is off being a multidimensional waveform, is his body just hanging in his heavenly closet? Bottom line dear reader – don’t sweat the small stuff. But it does make writing definitive Wiki entries a nightmare.
Comments 
6th-Dec-2010 02:52 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, but for me I don't care where Adam is. I just didn't care enough about him as a character, and I am still pissed that Dean was 'so' needed as a vessel that he could be ringered by Adam. But that just me :)
18th-Jan-2011 12:08 am (UTC)
Word to this!

To both points.
6th-Dec-2010 03:02 am (UTC)
eg in the S5 companion there’s a discussion of why they felt they couldn’t bring Nicki Aycox back as Meg, yet they brought Anna back in her same body with a simple “I called in a favour”.

Hmmm, I'd be interested about what this entailed. As far as I can remember, they haven't made any explicit distinctions between the rules of souls with demons vs angels, but if they have some ground rules, the little plot pieces giving me some clues might actually make some sense.
6th-Dec-2010 03:21 am (UTC)
I haven't got it with me, but basically it was that becasue Meg Masters was dead and rotting in the ground, she couldn't be used to host a demon. Obv we have seen God can resurrect angels and their vessels (well Cas in particular). The main differences I can think of are the rules regarding consent, and also that once a demon 'unposseses' a host that physcial form will revert to its human state inc any injuries etc sustained while possessed.
6th-Dec-2010 03:33 am (UTC)
Hmm, while an angel's keeps theirs vessel intact. So could it be assumed in relation to the soul, that demons need the human's soul for possession, whereas an angel does not? We're told last year after Cas was resurrected that he still had Jimmy in there. (No word yet about him after 5.22 resurrection though, yes?) But Anna just had...herself in there? Idk, why I'm trying to figure this out, everything about Anna was all over the place.

Perhaps it can just be said Heaven has rules over science, whereas Hell does not? Heh.
6th-Dec-2010 04:03 am (UTC)
See i assumed that jimmy was absent after Cas' resurrection. I thought the only mention of him was wrt the hunger in MBV, which could be a proprrty of the body rather than the soul.

demons need the human's soul for possession - nto always, as remember Ruby in S5 made sure she possessed a body which the soul had left.
6th-Dec-2010 06:43 am (UTC)
oh, yea, ruby, that's right. There goes that idea.

I'm still waiting on confirmation of which creatures have souls and which don't. Now that it's been confirmed monsters do. It makes sense that the black smoke of a demon is just the corrupted soul of the human it once was, given what we've been told, but i'm tapping my foot for confirmation on it. And how angels compare.

Interesting point about Jimmy, it was only mentioned in regards to the physical (eating in MBV, right?).
8th-Dec-2010 01:29 am (UTC)
I think it's the other way around. Demons don't need consent to possess a body, so the soul does not need to be present. Remember that Ruby's second vessel was empty of a soul. Angels need the consent of the vessel, so the soul has to be present, at least initially.
18th-Jan-2011 12:18 am (UTC)
I've never been sure whether the consent thing was a rule in the sense that gravity's a rule, or just a courtesy. In other words, maybe angels actually have the ability to seize any bodies they want, and simply refrain because it would be *wrong*.

I don't recall ever seeing Zachariah take a vessel, though that may be evidence for the"rule"; i.e., if he could just grab any vessel he wanted, surely he'd have gone to Hollywood and taken Misha Collins or Jensen Ackles or James Marsters, consent be damned, rather than a middle-aged bald guy.
18th-Jan-2011 01:52 am (UTC)
I'm sure Lucifer would have taken over Sam without consent if he could have. Requiring consent seems to be a 'natural law' sort of rule for all angels.
6th-Dec-2010 03:02 am (UTC)
I always end up thinking about things that Show doesn't spell out for us too. I am positive Adam's soul is in heaven, and has been since Michael possessed him, I read Michael's comment the same as you. As for whether Robo!Adam is in the Cage, I'm reminded of Donny, Raphael's vessel. It seemed like any sentience was burned out of him. Now if we are assuming all soulless humans would have a remnant personality, like our current soulless!Sam, then maybe in Adam's case, whatever vestige of his intellect was left behind was burned out once Michael took over. Or maybe Sam is unique in this regard too. I still need an explanation for Lucifer's statement: "We're two halves made whole."
6th-Dec-2010 03:23 am (UTC)
Now in Swan Song, Dean says “Adam, if you're in there somewhere, I am so sorry.” and Michael says: “Adam isn't home right now. “

That had slipped my mind! And when Dean tries to talk to Sam, Lucifer says that Sam is there and is going to watch Dean die. So it makes sense that Sam's soul was around and Adam's wasn't.

I like to think that Adam is in heaven. I hope he is. And I hope Jimmy is too, even though I've always wanted Jimmy to be alive. ;_;

6th-Dec-2010 03:38 am (UTC)
2010-12-06 03:37 am (UTC) Edit Delete Track This
We have conflicting evidence about where Sam's soul actually is. Canon seems to confirm that the demons never knew where Lucifer was caged, and just because Lucifer and Michael are still caged, doesn't necessarily mean Sam's soul is. Also, Dean was deliberately tortured by Alastair, and turned into a demon... as far as we know, most demons are created by the torture of other, or by deals -- excepting only Lilith, who was the first, and possibly Azazel, if he was a fallen angel himself. So there's first of all no confirmation that either Adam or Sam are in the cage (it's an Angel trap, not a soul trap... just like humans can cross a devil's trap but demons can't), and second of all, no confirmation that they would necessarily be tortured even if they were in there -- because Michael and Lucifer's primary animosity is with each other, not with their pissant vessels.

I have a million problems with how Sam can be walking around without a soul, and I really hope they answer it for me.... to me it's a huge non-sequitur, which I've had to kind of swallow whole ... though, I do love their exploration of how being without a soul has affected Sam. I've kind of hand-waved it for myself not that Sam is a sociopath, but that he's a really intelligent animal, like a wolf maybe, operating on his instincts and intellect and not feeling any compunctions about doing what needs to be done. I especially loved the Lucky ep for that reason, showing just how much human emotion, loyalty, and courage the so-called monster Lucky had, compared to unfeeling Sam.
8th-Dec-2010 02:35 am (UTC)
Also, Dean was deliberately tortured by Alastair, and turned into a demon... as far as we know, most demons are created by the torture of other, or by deals

It was never said or implied on the show that Dean was turned into a demon. We actually don't know how demons are created. Just making a deal or being in hell for a certain length of time is not enough, apparently. When the gate to hell was opened, we saw souls walking out that had been in hell for centuries (from their clothing). It seems to me that the whole forcing Dean to torture others was a way to force Dean to internalize evil and burn out his humanity. Maybe a soul turns itself into a demon, with appropriate encouragement. I'm not sure that would ever work on Dean, for multiple reasons.

I'm not sure why so many people are having such a hard time accepting that the soul and the body can be separated in the SPN universe. I haven't seen anything that would really contradict the possibility on the show previously. Maybe it conflicts with personal beliefs about what a soul is for some people? It actually fits in rather well with some non-Western concepts of the relationship between the body and the soul. In several non-Western religions (including the ancient Egyptians and the Navajo, just off the top of my head), the soul has multiple parts to it, some of which stay with the body when a person dies.

The description of Sam as an intelligent animal is brilliant. I've been a little upset with all the talk about Sam being a sociopath and comparisons to serial killers.
8th-Dec-2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
Ruby said that as far as she knew, every demon used to be human. For me, "breaking" on the rack is the first step of transformation into a demon... and others, like John, never break -- but Dean did. He himself claimed to enjoy torturing and was Alastair's apt pupil. If Castiel hadn't pulled him out and restored him without scars he'd be a demon right now. It was never stated outright, but I think the implications are there -- and Dean himself was surprised when he looked in the mirror and his eyes weren't black. ...There is also the ambiguous "part of himself" that Dean left in the pit... part that was too demonic for Castiel to recover?

Prior to s6, treatment of the soul did seem to follow Western tradition fairly closely, and I have to admit that my understanding of soul comes out of that same tradition. In Hebrew, "ruach" is the word for spirit and breath; breath and soul reside simultaneously in the body, and it's the "Spirit of God" that awakens life in a body. So then by those rules, a body without spirit is a dead body. So, a spirit lives on without a body, but not vice versa. How many times have we seen the boys sit up gasping deeply for breath as their spirit floods back into them? In fact Ruby even did the same thing when she took her second host body which its spirit had vacated... and she said without her animating it, it begins to decompose (because, after all, demons are spirits, just as we discovered with Crowley and his bones).

I'm trying to go along with the whole soul-less thing... but it just doesn't fit into the paradigm show had previously established--even the show's vampires or ghouls weren't necessarily soulless. But I'm trying to stay open to new things!

Yes, I see Sam as much more of a predator-type animal than a sociopath. He's clearly an excellent Hunter.



9th-Dec-2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
For me, "breaking" on the rack is the first step of transformation into a demon... and others, like John, never break -- but Dean did.

You seem to see Dean as a weak character, while I see him as very strong.The whole business with Alistair forcing Dean to torture others points to the process of becoming a demon being an internal rather than an external process. The soul has to internalize evil and burn out it's own humanity. Does that sound like something that Dean would do, even under such dreadful conditions? Dean doesn't start out as an evil soul, or even a selfish one. The difference between John and Dean is that of a sapling and a giant oak in a high wind. The oak resists until it is uprooted, while the sapling just bends. Dean's been playing roles his entire life. I'm pretty sure Dean could play the role of happy torturer for a very long time without it having a devastating effect on the state of his soul.

How many times have we seen the boys sit up gasping deeply for breath as their spirit floods back into them? In fact Ruby even did the same thing when she took her second host body which its spirit had vacated... and she said without her animating it, it begins to decompose

Ruby's body started to decompose because it was already dead. Demons run around in dead bodies all the time. We've seen the boys be killed and resurrected several times, but again, their bodies were dead. There's nothing there that really contradicts what's happened to Sam.

Maybe I'm not having as much trouble with this plot line as some because I know a bit about how the systems of the human body actually work. I don't tend to think of life being a mystical process requiring a soul. The body is basically a biological machine. It will continue to function unless it's internal functions are so disrupted that it no longer can.

9th-Dec-2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
In terms of Dean breaking, I'm just going by what he himself said. He tortured souls and he enjoyed it. To me that doesn't sound like he was playing a role.

Please don't misunderstand me, because I am a huge Dean girl, and I know that he is a survivor and very, very strong. What makes the show so brilliant for me is that he and Sam have endured so much and still come out as heroes.

For me, the show is about people vs. monsters. Can humans be like monsters? Can angels be like monsters? Can monsters be like humans? Can demons be like humans? The thing the show danced around with Kripke was the idea of redemption for a monster. There are a few times that I can think of -- the spirits in Roadkill and Houses of the Holy went into the light; the vampire Lenore refusing to feed on humans. With the Ruby storyline in s4 I was hoping hoping to see a demon redeemed: no dice.

The storyline, as it should, always comes round to Sam and Dean. They are our heroes. As Hunters they themselves come close to being monsters. I remember when Ruby jokingly called them "racists" -- but in a way, true -- because they draw a line in the sand between human and non-human -- but I think that line could and should be crossed. Gabriel and Castiel and Anna are several Angels who have crossed the line to side more or less with humans... why can't a demon redeem itself? I'm not a Manichean, and I don't believe in absolute evil.

So, in short, the Dean storyline works for me because, in my honest opinion, Dean really did become a demon. It's a sign of his incredible strength that he was able to come back from that, to go on and take up the mantle of Hero yet again.

Finally, take a look again at what you said and what I said about bodies without souls walking around. Yes, demons walk in dead bodies all the time -- but demons are souls, so something is animating the body. The body of Jane Doe was decomposing till the demon inspired it to move. Think of Bedtime Stories -- the girl lay in her coma and when her ghost moved on, her body finally died because only the ghost was keeping it going.

Yes, I am a mystic... but of course, I'm aware of how the human body works! It's just that I don't understand, with the reveals we've had so far, what could be animating Sam's body, and I'll say again, we've never seen a body walking around without a soul in it until now. Some fans I know of posit that he is like a golem -- a soul-less automaton powered by a mystical spell. But yeah, s6 is about breaking the rules, and Sam's current does pose a very interesting philosophical question, so I'm willing to go along for the ride.

I hope you're enjoying the discussion... sorry for hijacking missyjack's journal... besides I'm supposed to be working on a meta about Sam and Dean's humanity ... but I don't have time! hello, hiatus!!
6th-Dec-2010 03:43 am (UTC)
"Now in Swan Song, Dean says “Adam, if you're in there somewhere, I am so sorry.” and Michael says: “Adam isn't home right now. “"

Of course! I cannot believe I forgot that little line. I was wondering/hoping that Adam was no longer present in Swan Song. I think you are correct--the writers intended to indicate that Adam was not with Michael when he went in the pit.

Wow, how easy am I satisfied? I was getting annoyed about the lack of Adam mention. This makes it better.

Thanks for the reminder.

6th-Dec-2010 06:29 am (UTC)
See, I think Adam's still in there. Michael saying Adam's not home right now really made it sound like a temporary thing to me. That Michael was in control and there was no way Dean was reaching Adam. Sorry. Call back again at another time.

We're not really all that sure how much consent is needed to keep/possess an angelic vessel. Sam could overcome Lucifer, Castiel could be pulled from Jimmy...if it was that easy to get into a body (and not need a soul) why not pull a switch like what happened to Sam and Gary? Why not simply rid the body of the soul and possess it?

I know that the general fandom belief is that Jimmy is gone as well but I do wonder if Jimmy giving Castiel consent before he died (Cas did say it was permanent) means that Cas can use that body over and over again without the need for consent.

Finally: ADAM. I seriously loved his character. <3
7th-Dec-2010 03:06 am (UTC)
Your thoughts are my thoughts. I always read Michael's comment as one of dismissal; Michael was in charge and Dean's attempts to reach Adam to encourage him to resist the angel possessing him were futile.

At any rate, to introduce Adam and expect us to care about his character (which I did), and then to BLATANTLY ignore his existence once the writers were through with him is exceptionally bad form. Just a single line about Adam's soul being in Heaven and not in the Pit would resolve everything. Except of course for the part where it would completely fuck up all the drama surrounding an angel's need for the host to consent. If the angels could just kick the soul out and inhabit the body, wouldn't that be their first choice? Why would Michael have needed Dean's permission, or Lucifer Sam's?

So yeah, it makes more sense to me that Adam was home when his body tumbled down. And it's nothing but horrible, lazy writing that he's not been mentioned since.
9th-Dec-2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
It all comes back to the fact that nobody really knows what's inside that cage. If Sam's body was in there, how did Crowley ever find it, much less get it out? All canon prior, nobody knew where it was or anything about it. Simply to whisper with Luci, Azazel had to massacre an entire chapel full of nuns (urgh).

I think Sam's body must've been outside the cage -- kind of shucked off as Lucifer was pulled in. Stands to reason Adam's body also was in hell, but not in the cage.

My crystal ball says that Adam's and Sam's souls will turn out to be in Purgatory. (I'm about to fic about it, if you're interested) :)
9th-Dec-2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about this just the other night and realized that although Crowley is gone (::SOB::), to preserve any kind of plot continuity they'd still have to search for Purgatory, thus Sam's soul must be in there. So yes, we're thinking along the same lines.

That Adam's soul must be in there too BUT HAS NEVER BEEN MENTIONED still bugs me beyond endurance. If canon insists on being this sloppy, thank god we have fan-fiction to uphold some standards. :)
9th-Dec-2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
Is an explicit statement in canon not enough? Obv it needs to be an anvil for some fans to get it.

Edited at 2010-12-09 08:14 pm (UTC)
10th-Dec-2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
Really, missyjack? Why go there?

I've enjoyed reading your meta for years and have enjoyed limited but courteous interaction with you. I realize this is your journal and I'm posting in your playground, so forgive me for pointing out how unnecessarily rude you're being. (And in your original, unedited comment even more so.)

For your edification, I did in fact read your post before commenting. I'd like to think I even understood what you were saying. I simply (and I would hope politely) disagreed.

I found this post linked on the SPN newsletter. Unfortunately, it seems I misinterpreted the whole point of linking it in a public forum, as I thought that meant you wanted people to read your thoughts and would welcome polite discussion. But where I come from, it's pretty rude to imply that people you disagree with are idiots and require an anvil to the skull to 'get it'.

Here, let me quote you: "I think the writers’ intent was for us to take that to mean that Adam’s soul was not present..." Your use of the phrase "I think the writers' intent" seems to suggest that even you allowed that there was more than one way to take Michael's statement.

But maybe that's not what you really meant to say. (This happens to me all the time.) In light of your comment above, maybe this is closer to what you meant to say: 'The writers' intent was for us to take that to mean that Adam's soul was not present. Any other intrepretation is wrong.'

In which case you'll have to forgive me for making any comments at all in your journal, as I make it a point to avoid people who present their opinion as fact.
6th-Dec-2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
Man, I'm hoping you're right. Not that I'm having my panties in a knot about the issue, but it was . . . Unsettling to think they all just forgot about Adam.
9th-Dec-2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
see my comment above. it was stated in 5.22 that Adam's soul was not present.
9th-Dec-2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
Hey, I'm with you now you've pointed it out; I was worried before, but what you wrote makes sense to me. ;)
6th-Dec-2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
This of course is the conundrum Dean and Sam (and us) are facing: surely Sam’s soul needs to be rescued from hell, yet what if returning it to RoboSam destroys him? If Sam’s soul is damaged beyond reckoning, what is too be gained by saving it? Seriously, and I have a meltdown trying to decide what to wear to work today.

Perhaps I'm looking at this too simplistically, but surely even a dead robo-Sam whose soul is out of hell and upon bodily death ascends into heaven is preferable to a live soul-less Sam while Sam's soul rots in hell, never to be reunited with Dean ever even if only in heaven? I mean, the season started with Dean assuming he was dead and in heaven because Sam was back, and the last ep he implied to Samuel that a loved one staying dead isn't always the worst thing. I think Dean has made his peace with Sam dying if it comes to that, so long as his soul makes it to heaven where Dean can meet up with him again... S2 was a long time ago, before Dean knew about soulmates sharing heaven together...

I think if Adam is convenient for a storyline, he'll show up - otherwise the writers assume he didn't go to hell with Michael. Yes, I'm that cynical.
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