Samuel "Sam" Winchester was born on May 2, 1983, to John and Mary Winchester in Lawrence, Kansas. He is the couple's second child, four years younger than his older brother Dean. When Sam was exactly six months old, on November 2, 1983, his mother, Mary, was killed in his nursery by the Yellow-Eyed demon, Azazel. Mary walked into Sam's nursery while Azazel was feeding the infant demon blood attempting to turn him into one of the special children. He has developed slight mental trauma due to this day and doesn't like Halloween.Infant Sam is saved from the ensuing fire when his father takes him out of his crib and gives him to a four year old Dean, who then carries him outside. John unsuccessfully tries to rescue Mary and becomes somewhat emotionally unstable.
Sam and Dean spent their childhood moving from town to town while their father hunted the supernatural being that had killed their mother. He trains his sons in Hunting and kills anything supernatural he comes across. As soon as able, Sam was left in the care of Dean. However, when Dean grew old enough to go on hunts with John, Sam was left alone.
Sometime in the late 1980s, John was hunting a Shtriga in Fort Douglas, Wisconsin and left Sam and Dean alone in a hotel room. While watching a TV show as Sam slept, Dean got bored and went out. But when he came back, he found the Shtriga feeding on Sam. John arrived quickly, providing the suspicion that he used his children as bait.
Until he turned 8 years old, Sam believed his mother had died in a car accident and his father was a traveling salesman. When he found his father's journal, he demanded that Dean explain. Dean confirmed the existence of the paranormal. When Sam was nine years old, Sam created an imaginary friend named Sully, who unknown to him was a Zanna sent to guide him. Sully was there for Sam when he wasn't allowed on hunts. He attempted to encourage Sam to run away and live his own life, but when John changed his mind and permitted Sam to accompany him and Dean, Sam rejected Sully as a fake, causing his imaginary friend to leave. When Sam was eleven he spent his Thanksgiving with another family. He remembers it fondly as it was (according to Sam) his first actual Thanksgiving; for the other Thanksgivings he and Dean would have a bucket of extra crispy chicken while their dad would pass out on a couch. Sam loved this memory so much that it actually appeared on his road to Heaven, which shows only the happiest and most loved memories of a person's life. Sam started hunting alongside his brother and father around the age of twelve. However, he began to crave a normal life without monsters when a teacher of his, unaware of the whole story, encouraged him to seek alternatives to "the family business." On the 4th of July 1996 Sam and Dean snuck out to a field with fireworks where, according to Dean, they had burned the field down - this is one of Dean's Heaven-Road memories, and, as they share a heaven, also one of Sam's.
Dean frequently left Sam at Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie before going to hang out with girls, which is possibly a cause for Sam's fear of clowns. When Sam was about 15, John and Dean left Sam alone to hunt a kitsune while Sam compiled the research for them so they could kill it properly. This is where he met Amy, who, unbeknownst to Sam, was the daughter of the kitsune that John and Dean were hunting. Sam eventually learned his friend was a kitsune but decided to let her go when she had killed her own mother to save his life. Later on, Dean killed her, betraying Sam's wishes and request for him to leave her alone.
At some point Sam ran away to Flagstaff, Arizona while Dean was watching him. He stayed there for 2 weeks and while he was there he took in a dog and called it Bones. Sam eventually went to Stanford University, but was unable to return to his family, as John had forbade him from returning. While there, he had a long-term relationship with Jess. A year after that, their father got closer in looking for the thing that killed their mom, and left Dean to hunt solo. A few years later, John went missing, so Dean fetched Sam from Stanford and they both go looking for him. This is when the series starts.
|“|| Sam: "I swore I was done hunting for good."|
Dean: "Come on, it wasn't easy, but it wasn't that bad."
Sam: "Yeah? When I told Dad I was scared of the thing in my closet, he gave me a .45."
Dean: "Well, what was he supposed to do?"
Sam: "I was nine years old! He was supposed to say, 'Don't be afraid of the dark.'
Dean: "Don't be afraid of the dark? What, are you kidding me? Of course you should be afraid of the dark! You know what's out there!"
In much of Season 1, the Winchester brothers hunt down mystical creatures and urban legends like the Wendigo, folklore's Bloody Mary, and Shapeshifters. Generally, each episode revolves around a relatively uniform structure: the brothers find a case and solve it.
Although Sam's brother, Dean, has been mainly responsible for gathering hunting leads at this point, Sam's episodes of precognition and telekinesis soon direct them to where several of their hunts take place.
At the start of the series, Sam is a senior at Stanford University who is applying for law school. Sam also has a girlfriend, Jessica Moore, with whom he lives and is secretly planning to marry. One night, Dean comes to Sam's apartment to seek his help after their father goes missing; although reluctant at first, Sam eventually accompanies his brother. After defeating the Woman in White and discovering a trail to find their father, Sam returns to Stanford. Upon his return, Sam witnesses Jessica's murder in the same style of his mother's, prompting him to embark on a journey with his brother to find their father and kill the demon responsible. Sam does not get over Jess' death quickly, but by the end of season 2, she is almost never mentioned.
One of the first instances when Sam experiences precognition is in Home: he awakens from a vision of a woman screaming from the second story window of the Winchesters' old house. Afterwards, Sam insists they find out what's going on. When Dean refuses until Sam gives him good reason, Sam eventually confesses that he "has these nightmares" during which he can foresee terrible events. This is also when Sam tells Dean that he had nightmares about Jessica's death days before it had occurred. Dean initially dismisses his brother's abilities as coincidence and is overwhelmed with the idea of going home. In contrast, this is one of the many moments when Sam's desire to know the truth outweighs his emotions.
In Scarecrow, the tension between Sam and his father becomes clear when John calls Sam to tell him important information regarding a separate hunt. When Sam asks to know where John is, John insists that Sam "just does his job" and takes down some information, also saying that Sam and Dean are not allowed to help him in the fight against Azazel. Sam also displays increasing resentment towards Dean for unquestioningly playing the role of a dutiful son to their father's requests. Once on the road, they begin discussing the hunt their father has asked them to go on and Sam confronts Dean about his loyalty to John.
While Dean is persistent in learning more about the new hunt, Sam decides to go look for their father in Sacramento, California. During his journey, Sam runs into another lone traveler by the name of Meg Masters, a spunky blonde who takes an immediate interest in Sam. Although acquaintances, the two soon begin to develop a kinship due to their similar feelings of resentment towards their families. Later in the episode, it is revealed that Meg is in fact, a demon. Later, Sam and Dean reconcile when, to Sam's surprise, Dean praises his brother's ability to stand up to their father. When Sam tries to call Dean the next day, he tries for three hours unsuccessfully until he decides to go looking for him. Throughout this episode and especially during this moment, Sam displays a loyalty to his family unlike what is seen in Dean; while Dean is keen on following orders from John regardless of where he lands, Sam is more likely to go wherever he believes his family needs him, despite what anyone (family included) has to say.
Sam has another premonition in Nightmare when a man's murder is staged to look like a suicide. Dean is still reluctant to believe Sam's ability though this becomes another hunt that is determined by yet another one of Sam's visions. When the brothers arrive at the scene of the man's murder in Michigan, Sam becomes more perplexed with his ability and Dean begins to place more trust in Sam's premonitions. Throughout the rest of the episode, Sam continues to successfully predict the murders of innocent people. Later, the brothers learn that the murders have been at the hands of a troubled young man by the name of Max Miller. Here, Sam has a waking vision, a first at this point, of Max confronting his stepmother with a kitchen knife that will undoubtedly end in her murder. After learning of the man's troubled past, Sam's first impulse is to try and talk Max out of murdering his stepmother, insisting that they both share similar qualities. During their conversation, Sam learns that Max's real mother was killed years ago in his nursery while he was sleeping, which becomes the first time Sam has heard of another sharing his experience. Sam begins to wonder if there is a connection between his abilities and his own mother's death for the first time. This is also the first episode when Sam's ability to move objects is revealed when Max almost kills Dean.
In Shadow the brothers learn the real identity of Sam's old acquaintance friend, Meg Masters, when she plots to use the boys as bait for their father, John. This episode is also a good example of the contrast between Dean's "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality and Sam's more methodical approach to think things through; Upon learning the true identity of Meg, Dean insists they interrogate her right away when Sam suggests they learn who she's been having private meetings with first. Sam also expresses his desire to live a normal life "when this is all over", much to Dean's disappointment. "Dean, when this is all over, you're going to have to let me go my own way." (Sam to Dean in "Shadow" 1.14)
|“|| Dean: "I don't want you to leave the second this thing's over, Sam."|
Sam: Dude, what's your problem?"
Dean: "Why do you think I drag you everywhere, huh? I mean, why do you think I came and got you at Stanford in the first place?"
Sam: " 'Cause Dad was in trouble. 'Cause you wanted to find the thing that killed Mom."
Dean: "Yes, that, but it's more than that, man! You and me and Dad ... I mean, I want us to be together again. I want us to be a family again."
Sam: "Dean, we are a family. I'd do anything for you. But things will never be the way they were before."
Dean: "Could be."
Sam: "I don't want them to be. I'm not gonna live this life forever. Dean, when this is all over, you're gonna have to let me go my own way."
— Sam and Dean arguing about the future
Sam and Dean bust out with a bit of comic relief as they pull pranks on each other throughout Hell House. Otherwise methodical and often serious, Sam unleashes his more humorous side with antics like leaving Dean to start his Impala with the radio set to what sounds like Latin music on full blast and putting super-glue on Dean's beer. Dean, in turn, puts itching powder in Sam's underwear. Sam also enjoys mocking the Ghostfacers (who make their first appearance in this episode) during their random encounters.
In Something Wicked, the audience sees their first peek into Sam's childhood, before he knew anything about "the family business". The viewer also begins to see a glimpse of the bond that exists between Sam and Dean as brothers. As young children, it seems that Sam looked up to Dean a lot more than he ever looked up to John; most likely because John was almost never around. It becomes clear that Sam is the more pure and innocent of the two when he refuses Dean's suggestion to "dangle a kid like meat on a hook" in order to kill a witch. In the end, they decide to go through with the plan. It is learned during this episode that Sam was once almost killed by the very same witch they are hunting.
For the first time since Jessica's death, Sam finds romance with Sarah Blake, an art dealer's daughter, in Provenance. The brothers come across a murder in which a mysterious painting is the culprit and they must find out how to stop it from happening. Unwilling at first, Sam decides to take Sarah out for dinner as a means of gaining information about the painting. During their conversations, Sam takes a liking to Sarah despite his conflicting feelings of guilt. Later, Sarah becomes one of the first few women in Sam's life who learns about Sam and Dean's real line of work.
The brothers are reunited with their father in episode 20, Dead Man's Blood. John claims that a man named Samuel Elkins taught him everything he knows about hunting and that he needs his gun, the Colt, for some unknown purpose. The tension between Sam and John becomes increasingly clear when John insists they go after a nest of vampires in search of the Colt. En route to the vampires nest, Sam pulls to the side of the road and initiates an altercation with John, demanding to know where they're headed and why. An enraged argument ensues until Dean is able to separate the two. Later, Sam and John reconcile and resume their search for the Colt. After Sam and Dean prove their strength as hunters, John agrees to let the brothers help him in his fight against Azazel.
With every reason to believe they have a lead on Azazel and now armed with the legendary Colt, the three Winchesters head out to Salvation, Iowa in Salvation. When he learns more about his past and Azazel's habits from John, Sam begins to feel overwhelming guilt for the murder of his mother, Jessica, and the seemingly random families that Azazel is targeting. Sam has another waking vision of a family being attacked in the same fashion Mary and Jessica were killed, presumably because he was within walking distance of the home in which it is set to take place. Around the same time, Sam also tells John for the first time about his visions and nightmares.
Shortly thereafter, Sam receives a call from Meg asking to speak to John. They discover that she is the one responsible for killing John's friends and says she won't stop until she gets the Colt. From there, John leaves the brothers once again to pass off a fake Colt to Meg in hopes that she will cease the murders.
As Sam and Dean wait outside the home of the family who is about to be attacked, Sam makes sure to tell Dean "thank you for always being there. . . just in case." This shows that Sam truly values his relationship with his brother and the realness of their mortality when up against Azazel. This is also the first moment Sam outwardly expresses his appreciation for Dean as his older brother.
They end up saving the family, although they fail to confront Azazel as they watch his silhouette in the second story window of the burning home. Afterwards, Sam expresses immense guilt for not stopping the demon and anger towards Dean for not allowing him to run inside the house. At this point in the series, Sam has become more invested in the hunt for Azazel, showing more conviction than even John or Dean at times. When Dean tries to convince Sam there was nothing they could do to stop the Yellow-Eyed Demon, Sam goes into a rage and throws Dean against the wall. Dean pleads with Sam, saying that the three of them is all he has and that he refuses to let Sam die. Sam immediately realizes that John hasn't responded to their calls and demands they go looking for him again.
|“|| Dean: "I mean it. If hunting this thing means getting yourself killed, then I hope we never find the damn thing."|
Sam: "That thing killed Jess. That thing killed Mom.
Dean: "You said it yourself once. No matter what we do, they're gone and they're never coming back."
Sam: (shoves him against the wall) "DON'T YOU DARE SAY THAT! Not you! Not after all this!"
— Sam's obsession in killing Yellow Eyes
Devil's Trap begins where the last episode left off when Dean calls John only to hear Meg's voice on the other end. At this point in the season, Sam's regard for logic and reason seems to have gone out the window as he's become more careless in his thoughts and actions, and more obsessed with avenging the deaths of his mother, Jessica, and possibly his father's. However, Sam still struggles noticeably with the idea of exorcising Meg knowing that once he does, she will die from her wounds. Once she is exorcised and passes away, Sam once again assumes the role of astute researcher, looking for ways to outsmart their enemies on their trek to rescue their father.
When they meet up with John, Dean realizes that John is possessed by Azazel and is ready to fire the Colt when he and Sam are thrown against the wall. When Azazel challenges Sam to make the gun float to him, Sam is unable to use his ability unlike previously seen in Nightmare. However, it is during this episode when Sam begins to learn more about Azazel's plans for him "and all the other children" like him.
Once John is able to regain control of his body for a fleeting moment, the hold on the brothers is released. Dean is in bad shape when Sam grabs the Colt and shoots Azazel's vessel in the leg. Sam is soon thrown into a terrible dilemma when John yells for him to shoot while Azazel is still occupying his body. In the end, Sam is unable to kill his father and shoots him in the leg causing Azazel to leave John's injured body and escape once more. The conflict that takes place in Sam's mind is evidence that despite his and John's past misunderstandings, his loyalty and love for his family is a bond not about to break, even if it means ending the hunt for the Yellow-Eyed Demon. On the contrary, John expresses his frustration with Sam for not shooting him when he had the chance.
The season finale concludes with Sam, Dean, and John leaving Salvation, Iowa when they become the victims of a horrific crash; While a very injured Sam is driving the Winchesters to the hospital, a semi-truck crashes into them, causing massive damage to Dean's Impala with the Winchesters inside. At this point in time, their fate is uncertain at best.
|“|| Dean: "I thought that once the demon was dead and the fat lady sings, you were going to take off. Head back to Wussy State."|
Sam: "I'm having second thoughts. [..] I think Dad would've wanted me to stick to the job."
Dean: "Since when do you give a damn what Dad wanted? You spent half your life doing exactly what he didn't want, Sam."
Sam: "Since he died, okay? Do you have a problem with that?"
— Sam's change of heart
in Everybody Loves a Clown
In the first episode of this season, In My Time of Dying, Sam confronts the demon-possessed man who is responsible for the collision that occurred at the end of Season 1. The demon backs down and exits the man's body before the Winchesters are airlifted to a hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In desperation, Sam unsuccessfully checks to see if John or Dean are even alive. Later, John wakes and despite his wounds, Sam is able to move about the hospital. He is in pieces when he learns that Dean's injuries are life-threatening.When Sam visits his father, John sends him off with a list of items he needs from Bobby. Although he is unsure of what John is planning to do, he soon finds out from Bobby that John is planning to summon a demon. Outraged, Sam confronts John about his seeming lack of concern for the welfare of his family. During the altercation, a glass of water crashes to the floor which causes them to believe it could be Dean in an attempt to contact them from 'the other side'. Afterwards, Sam promptly falls into research mode and acquires a Ouija board in an attempt to confirm their suspicions.
Here, a part of Sam's personality is revealed to have more faith in peculiar methods of communicating with the dead and therefore appears to be more open-minded to certain devices that Dean might consider cliche. In addition, once Sam learns that a reaper is after his brother.
In the end, it is John's sacrifice that saves Dean rather than Sam's ingenuity. During the conversation between John and the Yellow-Eyed Demon, it is revealed that John knows "about Sam and the other children" like him.
Sam demands to know where John has been when Dean wakes up from his coma, to which John replies he was "out taking care of some things." Sam is ready to argue when John calmly insists he doesn't want to fight anymore. Puzzled at his father's sudden agreeableness, Sam leaves to get John a cup of coffee only to return to his father's body lying on the floor of John's hospital room. The final scene cements the looming and painful guilt Sam experiences for reacting defensively during his last moments with John.
Everybody Loves a Clown takes place roughly a week after their father's death. Sam shows his expertise with cracking codes for the first time in the series by gaining access to John's voicemail and tracing a message from a woman named Ellen. The brothers soon learn that Ellen Harvelle and husband William were once friends of John. They soon embark on a hunt involving murderous clowns who are possessed by demons. Sam's intense fear of clowns is first revealed in this episode.
Tensions between Sam and Dean beginning with this case when Dean questions Sam's quickness to jump on the case. Dean experiences resentment towards Sam, who now seems more willing to do what he thinks their father would have wanted him to do. At the end, Sam admits that what he is doing is too little too late.
|“||I miss him, man. And I feel guilty as hell. And I'm not alright. Not at all. . . but neither are you.||”|
— Sam speaks about their father to Dean
in Everybody Loves a Clown
In Bloodlust, Sam is put off when they meet a hunter by the name of Gordon Walker. Said hunter is Sam's diametrical opposite, seeing no shades of gray when it comes to hunting. This contrast is illustrated when Sam is kidnapped and then set free by a vampire named Lenore. When Gordon finds the vampires, he is ready to kill when Sam insists they are harmless to humans.
Sam delves deeper into the role of researcher and finds many of the brothers' leads. Sam begins to search for psychic children like him to find out Azazel's plan of which they are a part. After meeting Andrew Gallagher and his psychotic twin Ansem Weems, other "special children", Sam begins to fear every one of them are meant to become murderers, himself included. Eventually Sam learns from Dean that before their father's death, John told Dean that Azazel is planning to turn Sam evil and that Dean must save him but if he cannot Dean must kill him. Although angered at his father and brother upon learning this revelation, Sam concludes to save as many people as possible so that he can change his destiny and forces Dean to promise to kill him just like their father asked if he went evil.
|“||The more people I save, the more I can change. [...] You have to watch out for me, alright? And if I turn into something I'm not ... you have to kill me. [...] Who knows what I might become? Even now, everyone around me dies!||”|
— Sam to Dean
In Born Under a Bad Sign, Sam is possessed by the same demon responsible for Meg's possession in Season 1. It is also hinted at that this is also the same demon that led to the death of Ellen's husband. It becomes clear that if the time comes for Dean to shoot his brother, Dean would not be able to do so. In this episode Sam (while still possessed) also kills another hunter. Sam is somewhat disturbed by Dean's inability to kill if he needed to, but Dean reassures him there's still hope for Sam.
Over the course of the season, Sam and Dean get in trouble with authorities, particularly during hunting cases in Baltimore and Milwaukee. While Sam is at first merely a "suspect" and Dean classified as a wanted criminal, misunderstandings from the cops charges both him and Dean as felons. FBI agent Special Agent Henriksen begins to obsessively hunt them down, believing them to be a threat to society and forces both brothers to continuously cover their tracks. Sam and Dean allow themselves to be arrested only once while doing a case for an old friend of John's, but soon break out of prison.
In the episode What Is And What Should Never Be, Sam and Dean are not close in the alternate reality created by a djinn . Neither Sam nor Dean had ever hunted, and Jessica is Sam's fiancée. As in reverse to reality, their mother is alive. In real life, after Dean breaks out of the alternate reality and helps destroy the djinn, Dean confesses to Sam how tempting staying in that world was because of how much hunting cost them. Sam, however, denies his negativity and declares no matter how horrible their life is, saving people was worth it.
|“|| Dean: "I wanted to stay. I wanted to stay so bad. Ever since Dad ... all I can think about is how much this job 's cost us. We've lost so much. We've ... sacrificed so much."|
Sam: "But people are alive because of you. It's worth it, Dean. It is. It's not fair ... and y'know, sometimes it hurts like hell ... but's it worth it."
— Sam and Dean
in What Is And What Should Never Be
In All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 1, Sam is transported to an abandoned town along with Azazel's other chosen children. There Sam finds other children like him and tries to protect them without knowing what is coming next. One by one each are killed, including Ava who had been there for five months killing special children to survive. In a dream, Sam is visited by Azazel and learns the demon's plans all along: he and the other children will kill one another and the last one surviving will lead a demon army. Sam also discovers the reasons behind both Jessica and his mother's deaths; Jessica was killed because her death would lead Sam back into hunting. As for Sam's mother, it is revealed Mary interrupted Azazel during the process of feeding Sam demon blood, and was thus killed. Sam is horrified to know he has demon blood in him and adamantly refuses to follow through on Azazel's plans.Only him and Jake Talley are left at this point, but unlike him Jake doesn't trust Sam and decides to kill him to survive, then kill the Yellow-Eyed demon. Reluctantly Sam fights him and, though injured, wins through skill. Sam is tempted to kill him, but instead leaves him unconscious. As Sam leaves and sees Dean, Jake suddenly comes up and stabs him in his spine, leaving him dying in Dean's arms.
In All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 2, Sam's body is now at Bobby's, a broken Dean stands watching over him. Dean doesn't want to bury Sam despite Bobby trying to convince that it's for the best. Desperate and depressed, Dean speeds off in the Impala to the crossroads where he sells his soul to a Crossroad Demon in return for Sam's resurrection. Sam wakes up at Bobby's confused as to what has happened. In pain, Sam looks in the mirror at the marks on his back before Dean returns and bundles him into a hug. Sam is determined to track down Jake straight away, but Dean convinces him to take it slow. While they are eating, Sam and Dean discuss the events that took place. Sam states that he only remembers seeing Dean running towards him then a white hot pain in his back. With the help of fellow hunters Bobby Singer and Ellen Harvelle, Sam and Dean track down Jake, but are unable to stop him from opening a gateway to Hell on Azazel's orders. However, Sam shoots Jake and kills him in cold blood, showing uncharacteristic cruelty which shocks both Dean and Bobby. Azazel alludes that Dean might not have brought back "pure Sam".
After the gateway is closed and Azazel is finally killed by Dean, with assistance from John who escaped from Hell, Sam realizes he died and Dean sold his soul to bring him back. He has only one year to live before he goes to Hell. Sam is angry and hurt to know his brother's incoming fate, but promises Dean he will save him no matter what it takes.
|“|| Sam: "You shouldn't have done that. How could you do that?"|
Dean: "Don't get mad at me. Don't you do that. I had to. I had to look out for you. That's my job."
Sam: "And what do you think my job is? You've saved my life over and over. I mean, you sacrifice everything for me. Don't you think I'd do the same for you? You're my big brother. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you. And I don't care what it takes, I'm gonna get you out of this. Guess I gotta save your ass for a change."
— Sam after finding out Dean's deal
in All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 2
|“||You know what, Dean? Go screw yourself [...] I don't want an apology from you. And by the way, I'm a big boy. I can take care of myself. So will you please quit worrying about me? I mean, that's the whole problem in the first place! I don't want you to worry about me, Dean. I want you to worry about you! I want you to give a crap that you're dying!||”|
in Red Sky at Morning
Sam obsessively looks into anything he can to stop Dean from going to Hell, but Dean believes there's no way out of it and has seemingly already accepted his fate. Instead, he lives life to the fullest and insists that Sam stops looking. Sam resents his brother for making the deal, telling it had been selfish and hypocritical for putting this burden on him, but Dean doesn't care. Against his brother's wishes, Sam continues looking into ways to break the deal.
During this time, Sam is followed by a mysterious female demon named Ruby. She saved him from other demons and he learns from her that the Yellow-eyed Demon killed off his mother's friends who were connected to his nursery fire. Ruby insists she only wants to help him. Sam doesn't trust her, but begins to have doubts when Ruby tells him she can stop Dean from going to Hell.
While doing a case in Ohio, Dean is trapped with a lustful demon, causing Sam to come to his rescue. As a race unfolds, the demon calls forth help. Sam is well aware of this too. As the seductive demon breaks free due to help, Sam is forced to kill one of them with the refurbished Colt (which Ruby helped make). As Sam is about to pull the trigger on the Casey, Dean pleads for him to stop. Too late, Sam fires, killing her. Sam is guilty about this, knowing he not only killed demons but humans too, but Ruby tells him collateral damage is necessary in the coming war. Sam distrusts her and is tempted to shoot her with the Colt, but Ruby reminds him if he does, he'll never be able to save Dean. Sam agrees to their alliance and reluctantly accepts he'll have to do things he doesn't want to.
|“|| Sam: "Y'know what? You keep dangling that, but last time I checked, Dean's still going to Hell!"|
Ruby: Everything in it's own time, Sam. Here's a quick pro quo here. We're in a war."
Sam: "Right, but some reason you're fighting on our team. [...] Maybe I'll just use it on you."
Ruby: "Go ahead, if it makes you happy. It's not gonna do much for Dean though. (Sam slowly lowers the gun) That's my boy. You're gonna have to do things that go against that gentle nature of yours. There'll be collateral damage ... but it has to be done."
Sam: "Well, I don't have to like it."
Ruby: "No. You wouldn't be Sam if you did. On the bright side, I'll be with you. That little fallen angel on your shoulder."
— Ruby's early manipulations of Sam
in Sin City
Sam grows increasingly frustrated with Dean's refusal to destroy his deal, who doesn't want to risk Sam dying as a result. Desperate and angry, Sam even summons Dean's crossroad demon in hopes of forcing her to let him out of his deal. The Demon explains it's not in her power and her death wouldn't break it, revealing she has a boss and is just a "saleswoman". At point-blank range, Sam kills the demon anyway with the Colt - and the young woman possessed by her.
Tensions mount between brother once again when Dean finds out he killed the crossroad's demon. Dean is angry at his impulsiveness and risking his life, but Sam replies that he will not apologize for just trying to save him. At Dean's continued apathy about his deal, Sam's anger bursts. He doesn't care that Dean feels bad for him and just wants him to care that he's dying.
Soon after, Sam is again "hunted" by Gordon Walker, who just broke out of prison. In a surprising turn of events, Gordon himself is turned into a vampire and a "killer" but is still fixated on killing Sam before killing himself. Sam is pitted against Gordon, injured and without a weapon. Sam is forced to improvise and gruesomely strangles him with barb wire so tightly he ends up decapitating him. Dean is surprised at this action, but Sam shows no remorse.
Sam continues to become more ruthless and is willing to kill anything demonic even if his prey is part human, as in human witches. He continues to insist on using Ruby and stops Dean from trying to kill her. Sam later reveals that he is trying to become more like Dean who is more willing to kill human enemies. This reasoning is Sam's view that if he fails to save Dean's soul he must be ready to face a world full of demons on his own.
|“||We have to start looking at the big picture, Dean. Start thinking in strategies and- and moves ahead.[...] Look, Dean. You're leaving, right? And I gotta stay here in a craphole of a world alone. So the way I see it, if I'm gonna make it, if I'm gonna fight this war while you're gone, then I gotta change.[...] Into you, Dean. I gotta be more like you.||”|
— Sam explaining his hardening personality
in Malleus Maleficarum
In Mystery Spot, Sam is set in a time loop by The Trickster where he is forced to watch Dean die over and over again while being powerless to stop it. Driven mad by desperation and fear, the two brothers catch The Trickster and force him to break the loop. Sam wakes up on a Wednesday—the next day—only to watch Dean die again, this time, more permanently. For six months Sam is hardened by grief and loneliness, hardly contacting Bobby and obsessing over finding The Trickster. Sam is even willing to kill an innocent girl just to summon the monster.
At last when The Trickster appears, instead of revenge, Sam simply pleads to undo it and bring his brother back. The Trickster explains he did all this to teach him a lesson- that this is how life without Dean will be like and sacrificing himself over and over for him will bring nothing but more pain and blood. Sam doesn't care and just wants Dean back. Reluctantly The Trickster undoes it and takes Sam back to Wednesday six months before, but not before alluding to a dark future for Sam. Sam is left permanently changed by the experience, realizing truly for the first time he will not be able to save Dean.
|“|| Gabriel: "Sam, there's a lesson here that I've been trying to drill into that freakish Cro-Magnon skull of yours.[...] This obsession to save Dean? The way you two keep sacrificing yourselves for each other? Nothing good comes out of it. Just blood and pain. Dean's your weakness. And the bad guys know it too. It's gonna be the death of you Sam. Sometimes you just gotta let people go."|
Sam: "He's my brother."
Gabriel: "Yup. And like it or not, this is what life is going to be like without him."
— Gabriel's advice to Sam
in Mystery Spot
After the Colt is stolen by Bela, Sam and Dean track her. However, Bela outsmarts them and gets them arrested by Agent Henriksen. The brothers are jailed once more, but trouble brews when the town is overrun by demons. After convincing Henriksen of the threat, the brothers and everyone inside shut themselves inside the building and give them protection. It's also revealed that both Sam and Dean have a pentagram tattoo on the left side of their chest to prevent them from being possessed. He must have had this tattoo done between Season 2's Born Under a Bad Sign and Jus In Bello.
During the shut-in, Ruby appears and reveals a spell to expel all surrounding demons from their bodies, but to be done they must sacrifice a virgin. Dean refuses this, but Sam considers it and justifies it sacrificing one person to save everyone else. This showed Sam's dark side was intensifying. In the end, Sam goes along with Dean's plan - to fight and exorcise them all through a recording. The group makes it through the night, but after the brothers leave all are wiped out by Lilith, a powerful demon who is leading the army while out to kill Sam since she sees him as her rival. She is also revealed to hold Dean's contract to his soul.
In the season finale, Dean is down to 30 hours and Sam suggests they summon Ruby. Dean is furious at this, reiterating all Ruby does is lie and tells him not to summon her, but Sam does anyway. Sam is angry Ruby lied to him about being able to save Dean, but still has hope. In the end neither fully trust her and they take her knife before heading for Indiana where they find out Lilith is located. Their plan is to kill her and stop Dean from going to Hell. Their attempts end in vain and Dean discovers too late that Lilith has taken Ruby's vessel. She unleashes the hellhounds on him. A crying Sam pleads with Lilith to stop it as he watches the hellhounds maul his brother's body.
After Dean is dead, Lilith shoots a "burning white light" at Sam. Sam is unharmed, proving he's immune. Lilith becomes scared of him and Sam takes the opportunity to stab her with Ruby's knife. Lilith escapes however, leaving Sam with Dean's body and Ruby's vessel. Devastated by his brother's death, Sam holds his body and cries over him.
|“|| Sam: "Don't, Dean! I'm not gonna let you go to Hell!"|
Dean: "YES, YOU ARE! Yes, you are. I'm sorry. I mean, this is all my fault. But what you're doing, it's not gonna save me. It's only gonna kill you."
Sam: (tearful) "Then what am I supposed to do?"
Dean: "Keep fighting. Take care of my wheels. Sam, remember what Dad taught you ... okay? And remember what I taught you."
— Dean and Sam
in No Rest for the Wicked
|“||You want to know why I've been lying to you, Dean? Because of crap like this. [...] The way you talk to me, the way you look at me like I'm a freak! Like I can't tell the difference between right or wrong![...] I've got demon blood in me, Dean! This disease pumping through my veins and I can't ever rip it out or scrub clean! I'm a whole new level of freak! And I'm just trying to take this ... this curse and making something good out of it. Because I have to!||”|
After Dean's death, Sam has cut off all contact with Bobby. Even still, he tries several methods on trying to bring Dean back including making a deal with the crossroads demon. Still looking for a way to revive his brother, he lodges in Illinois, close to where his brother is buried. After a resurrected Dean reunites with Bobby, the two go to visit Sam. They find him with a girl, enjoying his "wild side." The girl is actually Ruby, a fact Sam immediately hides from Dean. Now trying to find information on who saved Dean, their search leads them to a diner where they meet demons who claim they know who broke Dean out. Dean, obviously knowing it's a bluff, slaps a demon twice in the face, gets up and nonchalantly leaves. Sam, however, tells Dean that they are demons and they need to die or other people will. Dean protests against this. Later, Sam returns to the diner to confront the demons. As he enters, he is attacked but realizes that the demons have had their eyes burned out. He calls for Ruby to see if she has found anything. As the two discuss, Sam shows that his powers have developed and he is able to exorcise demons using his powers. Sam hides Ruby's involvement as well as his psychic powers from Dean, going so far as to deliberately lie and deceive him to keep Dean from finding out what he's up to. Sam admits he doesn't know if he trusts Ruby or if he's doing the right thing, but he wants to keep using his powers because he feels like he's "helping" people.
Sam helps Dean and Bobby defeat the spirits of Agent Henriksen and Meg Masters in Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester. Despite Sam's good intentions, Sam's abuse of his psychic ability is concerning the angels, casting foresight on him going down a "dangerous" road. Castiel declares to Dean he must stop Sam, or the angels will kill Sam themselves.
Sam's powers rapidly develop, with guidance from Ruby in Metamorphosis, but Dean finds out Sam is using them and furiously yells at him. Sam stands by his choice, believing he could control his darker side and that he was helping people. He soon blows up against Dean's judgmental attitude and admits he lied because Dean couldn't understand how he feels. Nonetheless, after seeing Jack succumb to his darker rugaru side, Sam sees Dean was right and decides to stop using his powers.
In It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester, Sam and Dean work to stop the rise of a powerful demon called Samhain, whose rise would signal another broken seal. Sam finally meets Castiel as well as Uriel, but becomes dillusioned by their cold, methodical approach to things, including sacrificing a whole town just to stop a broken seal. When the brothers fail and the seal is broken, Sam sets out against the demon by himself. Despite his promise to Dean, Sam exorcises the demon psychically and sends him back to Hell. Unbeknownst to him, Dean saw it.
In I Know What You Did Last Summer, Dean finally gets an explanation of what happened to Sam and Ruby in the four months he was gone. Shortly after Dean's death, Sam had summoned a Crossroad Demon, hoping to switch places with Dean, but was promptly rebuffed. Ruby returned shortly after and, "betraying" Lilith, saved Sam. The pair had sex at least once, and Ruby began focusing against Lilith and helping Sam develop his powers, eventually going so far as to convince him to drink her blood to strengthen him. In the present day, Sam, along with Dean and Ruby, protect Anna Milton, a fallen angel when Castiel and Uriel arrive and demand the girl be turned over to them to be killed.
Sam and Dean continue to protect her in Heaven and Hell, helping her track down her grace only to find it stolen. Sam develops a plan to bring the demons and angels together in hopes they'll take each other out, but Dean was forced to give up their location to Uriel in a dream when they threatened Sam's life. Sam's plan, however, worked and distracted their enemies just long enough for Anna to get her grace back and become an angel again, disappearing in a flash of white light. Sam soon after learns about Dean's experience in Hell and that he tortured souls for at least "ten years".
Dean and Sam continue hunting, but eventually Ruby finds Sam again by Criss Angel Is A Douchebag and pressures him to indulge his psychic power. He promptly refuses, but gets second thoughts when she reminds him how close they are to an apocalypse and how strengthening his powers would help put a stop to it. Sam envisions a future again where he's no longer hunting and believes if he puts a stop to Lucifer, then he would stop evil at its source. Sam ultimately reconsiders and decides to take Ruby up on her offer.
Sam continues his secret chats and meetings with Ruby, steadily strengthening his psychic power. However, he hides this from Dean, which his brother quickly catches on. In Sex and Violence, manipulated by a siren's spell, Sam claims he's been lying to Dean because he sees himself as a better hunter and believes he can fix this all on his own. When the spell wore off, Sam apologizes and tells him that had been the spell, not him, but tension between them is obvious.
In Death Takes A Holiday, Sam and Dean arrive at a town where no one is dying and discover another seal by Alastair is about to be broken by killing two reapers. During this time, Sam's powers have strengthened significantly to the point Alastair's powers have no affect on him. They astral project to a spirit world to save the reapers and manage to save Tessa, saving the seal but at the cost of their psychic friend Pamela Barnes' life. In Pamela's dying moments, she tells Sam she sensed how he killed the demon who killed her and that if he thinks he's using his powers for good, he's wrong. Sam is deeply unsettled by this.
|“||I know what you did to that demon, Sam. I can feel what's inside of you. If you think you have good intentions, think again.||”|
— Pamela's grim last words to Sam
in Death Takes a Holiday
In On The Head Of A Pin, after Dean is whisked away by the angels to torture Alastair, Sam wants him out of it and contacts Ruby. It's revealed the reason Sam's psychic powers were strengthening was because he had been drinking demon blood. Sam also states Dean isn't strong enough to handle Alastair or the apocalypse, hinting his words under the siren in Sex and Violence hadn't been entirely a lie. Sam makes it to the angels' location and saves Castiel from a freed Alastair. Instead of exorcising him, Sam now has the ability to kill him psychically.
In The Monster at the End of This Book, Sam and Dean meet a prophet named Chuck Shurley who wrote books about their lives. When Chuck has a vision of Lilith coming to town and sleeping with Sam, Dean and Sam do everything to prevent it. Sam, however, wants to draw Lilith out to kill her. Dean refuses, knowing they weren't ready to fight her. During this time, Sam reveals he's addicted to demon blood but only started to take the burden off Dean's shoulders and stop the Apocalypse himself. Chuck wonders if he drinks for power and control rather than helping Dean, but Sam denies it. Sam does runs into Lilith, but she proposes a deal: she'd stop breaking seals if Sam and Dean both die. She wouldn't survive to the Apocalypse so she wants to live. Sam rejects it, not trusting her, but Lilith claims it's his own arrogance and desire for revenge that fuels him. Sam seems to agree to deal, then attacks her. When an archangel almost appears, Lilith flees. It's revealed Sam never considered agreeing, reasoning Lilith was only lying. Dean, however, knows demons rarely break their contracts and is unnerved Sam might rather choose revenge than self-sacrifice.
During Jump the Shark, Sam and Dean are contacted by a young man named Adam who claims their late father is his father as well, making him their half-brother. The two go to meet him suspicious with Sam trying to convince Dean that its possible but Dean doesn't believe it even preparing traps to expose him as a monster but nothing works. As Adam talks about John, Dean becomes frustrated and soon explodes as Adam begins to describe John’s beautiful Impala, angrily insisting he’s lying. "I'm sorry, but the who the hell are you to call me a liar?" Adam asks. "We're John Winchester's sons, that's who!”, Dean yells. Adam stares, audibly shocked that he has brothers. Dean, adamant that they are not brothers, accuses him of being a hunter playing games. Adam angrily retorts that he’s never been hunting in his life. Exasperated, Dean gets up to leave and tells Sam to follow. Adam calls out after them that he can prove it. Sam and Dean return to Adam's house and sees a portrait of John and Adam together proving his claims. Convinced, Sam and Dean help Adam figure out what happened to his mother, and it isn't until Adam demands answers that Sam reveals (despite Dean's protests) about hunters and hunting.
Adam seems cool with it and even wants to partake, but Dean refuses. He points out that John wanted to protect Adam from this life, yet Sam goes ahead and teaches him some skills.
While Sam is teaching Adam, he hears something in the vents and gets Adam out of there. They head to Adam's truck, but Sam is grabbed by something from underneath. Adam rushes to help Sam, and then Dean arrives on the scene and helps. Sam suggests they use Adam as bait (much as he dislikes the idea, Dean outright refuses) and starts to train him. Sam and Adam have a brotherly bonding moment. Dean is still not liking the idea because he wants Adam nowhere near the hunting lifestyle.
While Dean is out, Sam and Adam get the place ready for the creature. Then Adam's "mother" walks through the door, and Adam rushes to her. Sam tries to convince Adam to step away from his "mother", but "Adam" knows this and knocks Sam out. The ghouls reveal they are the children of the Ghoul that John killed years ago and that they wanted revenge on him so they killed people who he was close to in the town and intended lure him back. Since John was already dead, Sam and Dean had to pay the price for his crime against their family. Adam's "mother" then taunts Sam by revealing him that the real Adam was indeed their brother.
Meanwhile, Dean discovers Adam's body in the crypt before returning to save Sam. After they've defeated and killed the ghouls, Sam and Dean give Adam a hunter's funeral in respect for the brother they didn't know.
It is revealed in The Rapture that he is now addicted to demon blood, but continues to drink it in spite of this. His psychic powers fluctuate due to lack of demon blood, driving Sam to drink from a demon he fights in the midst of battle directly in front of Dean. Dean is strangely silent about it, but after receiving a call from Bobby, Sam is tricked by both of them and locked in Bobby's panic room to detox him from the demon blood.
Sam is subjected to a series of hallucinations during his detox, symbolizing his conflicting feelings of guilt (Young Sam) and self-loathing (Alastair/Dean) along with his desire for revenge and belief he's doing the right thing (Mary Winchester). Unknowingly, Sam is freed by Castiel under the angels' orders and goes to meet Ruby, who tells him the final seal can only be broken by Lilith. Dean eventually catches up with him, demanding Ruby dead and to stop with the demon blood, but Sam insists she's going to help him kill Lilith. When Dean calls Sam a monster, Sam snaps and punches him, leading to a bitter brawl between the brothers. Sam dominates and nearly kills Dean, but stops at the last minute. Sam, fully powered with demon blood, goes to kill Lilith and leaves Dean with the cold words: "You don't know me. You never did. And you never will."
|“||Dean, I need her to help me kill Lilith. I know you can't wrap your head around that, but maybe one day you'll understand. I'm the only one who can do this, Dean. [...] I'm being practical here. I'm doing what needs to be done.[...] Look. My whole life, you take the wheel, you call the shots, and I trust you because you are my brother. Now I'm asking you, for once, trust me.||”|
— Sam's final appeal to his brother
in When the Levee Breaks
During Lucifer Rising, Sam struggles with the guilt of his last encounter with Dean and begins to wonder if he was right. However, Ruby pushes him, and Sam goes so far as to bleed and suck blood from innocent woman still possessed by a demon in her subconscious. It's revealed that Sam had been manipulated by Ruby the entire time. Sam succeeded in destroying Lililth, but it brought him further from humanity than he had ever been before, indicated by his eyes briefly turning black. Lilith was revealed to be the final Seal and Lucifer was freed from his cage. Sam is devastated and broken at the plague he unleashed on Earth, scarcely responding to Ruby's betrayal in his shame. Dean arrives too late, but kills Ruby with Sam's help. Sam, ashamed beyond words, can only apologize to Dean. The season ends with Sam and Dean watching as Lucifer rises from his cage and the Apocalypse begins.
|“||Dean ... he's coming.||”|
— Sam as they watch Lucifer rise
in Lucifer Rising
|“|| Lucifer: "Sam. My heart breaks for you. The weight on your shoulders, what you've done, what you still have to do. It's more than anyone can bear. If there was some other way ... but there isn't. I will never lie to you. I will never trick you. But you will say yes to me."|
Sam: "You're wrong. [...] Why me?"
Lucifer: "Because it had to be you, Sammy. It always had to be you."
— Lucifer and Sam
in Free To Be You and Me
God teleported Sam and his brother onto a plane, saving them. In the direct aftermath of freeing Lucifer, Sam is stricken with guilt and takes full blame for the Apocalypse and all his mistakes. He tries desperately to redeem himself to stop the Devil's plans, though his relationship with Dean is severely damaged to the point Dean no longer trusts him. Sam accepts this and works with him to think of ways to kill the devil.
While Sam and Dean fight to save a town from War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Sam is tempted by his cravings for demon blood. Sam, however, avoids this. He is confronted by War who describes him as being his "poster boy" because of Sam's desire for power and control. After defeating War, Sam realizes while he justifies his actions by drinking the blood for "the greater good", all it truly was his own greed. Sam sees himself as too dangerous to be hunting and temporarily separates from Dean.
|“||From the minute I saw that blood, it was the only thought in head ... and I tell myself it's for the right reasons, my intentions are good, and that it feels true, y'know? But I think, underneath, ... I just miss the feeling. I know how messed up that sounds, which means I know how messed up I am. Thing is, the problem's not the demon blood. Not really. I mean I- what I did, I can't blame the blood or Ruby or ... anything. The problem's me. How far I'll go.||”|
— Sam's epiphany
in Good God, Y'all
Sam has another attempt at a normal life, but is strapped down by his guilt and natural hunter instincts. He is confronted by two hunters who discovered he started the apocalypse and force him to drink demon blood, though Sam's willpower has strengthened and he spits it out. During this time, Sam is tormented by Lucifer, in the form of the deceased Jess, who tells him he can never change. Eventually, Lucifer appears in Nick's body and tells Sam that he is his true vessel, in conjunction with Dean being the archangel Michael's true vessel. Sam is horrified to be vessel of the Devil and says he'd kill himself first before he consents. Lucifer tells him he will agree - sooner or later - before disappearing, leaving Sam shaken.
In The End, Sam calls Dean and wants to work with him again in effort for redemption and change his fate. Dean is surprisingly unfazed about Sam being Lucifer's vessel and declines working with him again, reiterating they were only each other's weaknesses. It's implied that this choice is what motivated Sam to accept Lucifer in the post-apocalyptic future that Dean goes to, prompting Dean to call Sam back and decide they make their own destiny and "keep each other human".
Sam does his best to rebuild his relationship with his brother although they're are no longer as close as they once were because of his betrayal and find it hard to reconnect. They appear to come some form of middle ground in Fallen Idols where Sam pushes Dean to treat him professionally and as an equal no matter what grudge he still holds against him. Sam also reveals Dean's superiority and constant treatment of him as his "kid brother" partly pushed him to Ruby.
In Changing Channels, Sam and Dean are thrown into an alternate universe by the Trickster where they're in TV shows and have to "play their roles". Eventually it's revealed the Trickster they know has been the archangel Gabriel all along and that his "lesson" was for them to "accept" their roles as Michael and Lucifer. It's also revealed Sam's rebellious relationship with John directly mirrored Lucifer's with God and that's why he was the "fated vessel". Sam and Dean still refuse, though begin to wonder how they could stop the "inevitable".
|“||Why do you think you two are the vessels? Think about it. Michael, the big brother, loyal to an absent father, and Lucifer, the little brother, rebellious of Daddy's plan. You were born to this, boys! It's your destiny! It was always you! As it is on Heaven, so must be on Earth. One brother must kill the other. [...] Why do you think I've always taken such an interest in you? Because from the moment Dad flipped on the lights around here, we all knew it was gonna end with you. Always.||”|
— Gabriel to Sam and Dean
in Changing Channels
Sam and Dean learn that the Colt is in possession of a demon named Crowley, who hands it to them surprisingly amicably for "survival" against the devil. Sam and Dean spent their "last night on Earth" with Jo, Ellen, Bobby, and Castiel in Abandon All Hope only to set out to find and kill Lucifer the next day. Meg arrives and sicks hellhounds on them, one of which mortally wounds Jo in the clash. The team takes shelter in a hardware store surrounded with salt. Jo convinces them to built a bomb and she'll use it to take out the hellhounds while they go and kill the devil. Ellen stays behind to let the hellhounds in and both die in the blast.
Sam and Dean find Lucifer and face off against him, only to find the Colt has no effect. Lucifer talks to Sam about how they can relate to each other and one day, no matter what he does, he will say yes to be his vessel. Sam refuses, though is visibly shaken by the archangel's confidence and their similar experiences. Lucifer applauds Sam's rage, telling him one day he'll need it. Afterwards, the brothers return to Bobby's and grieve for their friends' in the end pointless sacrifice.
Sam and Dean soon check into a mental institution in Sam, Interrupted to help their old friend Martin hunt a wraith. Both brothers are driven crazy by the monster---literally---hindering their case. Sam hallucinates patients spewing hate and venom at him for starting the Apocalypse, calling him evil. He also nearly kills their shrink, mistaking him for the wraith. While they kill the monster, Sam is shaken by it playing on his inner rage and admits to Dean ashamedly he's been angry all his life but he doesn't know why.
|“||Most of the time I can hide it ... but I am angry. I'm mad at everything. I used to be mad at you and Dad, then Lilith, now it's Lucifer, and I make excuses. I blame Ruby or the demon blood, but it's not their fault. It's not them. It's me. It's inside me. I'm mad all the time ... and I don't know why.||”|
— Sam's confession
in Sam, Interrupted
Sam is soon targeted by Anna to destroy Lucifer's vessel and end the Apocalypse. Sam, Dean, and Castiel follow her into the year 1978 in "The Song Remains the Same" to stop her from killing their parents so either are never born. They manage to protect their parents, though Anna enlists past Uriel and catches up with them. Anna lands a fatal blow on Sam, but the archangel Michael appears in John's body and smites while her restoring Sam and sending him back to his own time to complete their "destiny". Sam, Dean, and Castiel all come home in one piece, though both brothers feel the weight of the destinies the angels have for them more than ever.
In "My Bloody Valentine", Sam still has a craving for demon blood. He is affected by the Horseman Famine's ability and he attacks and drinks from Famine’s henchmen. Sam, however, refuses to drink from Famine's other henchmen when he comes to save Dean and exorcises all five of them with ease. With more effort, Sam manages to weaken Famine by channeling the demons inside while Dean and Castiel look on. However, Sam is locked immediately in Bobby's panic room by Castiel and Dean, detoxing the blood from his system once again.
Sam and Dean's distance was emphasized in "Dark Side of the Moon", when Sam’s version of Heaven was completely devoid of his family and involved incidents that happened while he was away from the Winchesters, which causes Dean to discard the amulet Sam gave to him years prior. Dean is discouraged by Sam's different views of what Heaven is. While in Heaven, after getting shot dead by hunters, Sam and Dean are pursued by Zachariah before they meet Ash. While in Ash's heaven, he reveals they have died other times and met up with him but the angels had erased their memories of those times before they reunite with Pamela Barnes. After getting helpful advice from the two, Sam and Dean leave but are captured by Zachariah who prepares to torture for ruining his reputation but they are saved by the Joshua--- an angel that "talks" to God. Joshua reveals that God was on Earth and relays message to them is to stop looking for him and he doesn't see the Apocalypse as "his" problem. The brothers are dismayed to hear this as Joshua lists the things God did for them before returning them to Earth with their memories intact as God requested. Sam is still resolved to think a way out of this, but Dean has already given up.
In "Point of No Return", Sam tries to stop Dean from consenting to possession by Michael and with help from Castiel, they bring him to Bobby and they convince Dean to allow them some more time in order to research another method of stopping Lucifer. However, the resurrection of their brother Adam Milligan (who agreed to be Michael's vessel) brings about a new problem that forces Sam, Bobby and Castiel to keep both Adam and Dean from Zachariah. Locking Dean in a panic room, Sam goes to talk with him as he uses the information he learned from his experience in Heaven and to put his trust and faith in Dean, who admits he doesn’t believe in Sam and is convinced Sam will say “yes” to Lucifer at some point. Sam soon catches Adam trying to sneak out but stops to speaks with his younger brother and tries to relate to him, but to no avail as the latter rebuffs him. When Dean escapes after banishing Castiel, he tries to lure the angels, Sam leaves to find him, allowing Adam to be removed by angels. Castiel returns with a beaten Dean and says he knows where the angels are keeping Adam.
Despite Bobby and Castiel's insistence on keeping Dean from Zachariah, Sam decides to use him as bait to rescue Adam. Castiel dispatches the angelic guards and the brothers attempt to rescue Adam, but Sam's ambush on Zachariah fails and Zachariah causes internal damage to both Adam and Sam to coerce Dean to consent to Michael. Ultimately, he relents, but after Zachariah summons Michael, Dean taunts him into sacrificing himself in order to allow Michael in. However, because Sam was shown to still have faith and belief in him, Dean winks at him to let him know he has plan that will stop Dean from saying “yes” to Michael. Zachariah angrily refuses Dean's demand to die, and Dean stabs him and ushers his brothers out of the room. Unfortunately, Adam does not escape in time and is locked in the room with the approaching Michael. As they leave, Dean admits that he would have accepted Michael, but because of Sam's faith he decides that he will "take the fight to them".
In "Hammer of the Gods", when Sam and Dean are forced to work with other deities against Lucifer, they team up with Gabriel, who finally decided to support their side. They manage to lure Lucifer there and Gabriel stays behind in hopes of defeating him, but is killed in the process. Nonetheless, Gabriel offers them their first real chance of defeating Lucifer: find the four "keys" to Lucifer's Cage, lure him there, and use it to seal him back inside his cage. The four "keys" are the rings of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The brothers already have War's and Famine's so set out to get the other two.It is revealed in "The Devil You Know" that Sam's good friend from Stanford, Brady, was possessed all that time and Sam has been manipulated by demons even back then. Brady taunts Sam that perhaps the reason he is so angry and so easily manipulated by demons is because of all the demon blood inside of him and because he is just like them. Sam does not deny this, but acknowledges this as an 'interesting theory'. After discovering that Lucifer can be locked back into Hell using the rings of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Sam considers allowing the Devil to possess him in order for Sam to push him back into Hell. He discusses it with Bobby, who is at first very irritated by the sudden plan, but comes around to his way of thinking by "Two Minutes to Midnight" when there is clearly no other choice. When Dean finds out, he argues with Sam that he cannot do it, but later gives in to his plan, as it seems to be the only option left. Sam makes Dean promise not to try and bring him back from the cage, as that is too risky.
|“||For the record ... I agree with you. About me. You think I'm too weak to take on Lucifer. Well, so do I. Believe me, I know exactly how screwed up I am. You, Bobby, Cass ... I'm the least of any of you. [...] It's true. It is. But ... I'm also all we've got. If there was another way ... but I don't think there is. So I don't know what else to do. Except just try to do what's got to be done.||”|
— Sam justifying his decision to Dean
in Two Minutes to Midnight
|“||So you got to promise me something. [...] You got to promise not to try to bring me back. [...] Once the Cage is shut, you can't go poking at it, Dean. It's too risky [...] You go find Lisa. You pray to God she's dumb enough to take you in and you - you have barbeques and go to football games. You go live some normal, apple pie life, Dean. Promise me.||”|
— Sam's last request for his brother
in Swan Song
|“||I'm not your brother. I'm not Sam. [...] I don't even really care about you. Except that ... I need your help. [...] I've done a lot worse than you know. I've killed innocent people in the line of duty. But I'm pretty sure it's not something the old me could've done. And maybe I should feel guilty. But I don't. [...] I don't if how I am is better or worse. It's different. You get the job done, and nothing really hurts. That's not the worst thing. But I was thinking. And it was ... it was kinda harder. But there are also things about it that I remember I ... Let's just say I think I should probably go back to being him.||”|
— Soulless Sam to Dean
in All Dogs Go To Heaven
Sam wakes up mysteriously out of the cage and tries to get answers from Castiel with no results and searches for weeks, even going to Bobby for help. He eventually goes back to hunting, choosing not to contact Dean. Sometime along the way, he encounters a group of hunters from his mother's side of the family, including Samuel Campbell, who was thought to have been killed in 1973 by Azazel. Soon, Sam goes hunting for djinns and discovers that they're going after Dean next. Sam gets involved when the djinns nearly kill Dean. This allows him to reunite him with his brother, and he's forced to tell Dean that he's been back nearly the entire time since he jumped in the cage and that he chose not to tell Dean because Dean would leave his "normal" life behind if he did. Dean gets angry at Sam (and later at Bobby, as he knew of Sam's return as well). Then Sam introduces Dean to their third cousins and grandfather from their mom's side, after whom Sam was named. Sam and Dean take Lisa and Ben to safety at Bobby's until they take care of the djinns. The djinns attacked the brothers, and they're nearly killed but are saved by Samuel and the others. Later, Dean decides not to return with Sam and to stay with Lisa and Ben. He offers Sam the Impala, but Sam declines.
Things get stranger between Sam and Dean, as Dean starts to notice that Sam has been acting differently ever since he came back into his life. Sam uses a baby shapeshifter as bait to draw in the Alpha, stands aside when Castiel tortures a kid for intel on the angel buying souls (Balthazar), he even lets Dean get turned by a vampire to get more information on the Alpha Vampire. When Dean confronts Sam about it, Sam, however, lies and says he "just froze". When the brothers are held captive by the Goddess of Truth, Veritas, in You Can't Handle The Truth, the goddess reveals that there is something wrong with Sam. Sam tells Dean that he's still Sam, but he knows something's wrong with him, and he admits at Dean's urging that he might need help. Dean responds by beating Sam unconscious and calling Castiel for assistance.
Upon inspection in Family Matters, Castiel determines Sam is physically healthy but his soul is missing. Dean plans to keep Sam tied up, but Sam sets himself free and convinces Dean to work with him. Later, Sam and Dean meet up with Samuel, who informs them that he's got a lead on the Alpha vampire. But when Dean sees Sam walking the vampire into a van, he confronts Sam, and Sam states that Samuel needs to interrogate the Alpha. Sam helps Dean find out where Samuel is taking the creatures for interrogation and question the Alpha vampire about Purgatory. But when the Alpha breaks free and attacks Sam, Christian reveals himself as a demon and teleports the vampire away. Crowley then appears on the scene, and claims to be the one who raised Sam from Lucifer's cage, and the one in possession of his soul. He tells them that if Sam ever wants it returned, he and Dean need to help Samuel capture creatures for him. Sam almost shoots Samuel in aftermath for selling them out, though Dean stops him. Sam convinces Dean they have to work for Crowley temporarily until they found another way to get his soul back but when they do, they'll kill Crowley themselves.
Sam's behavior, however, shows that he is definitely conflicted over whether or not he actually wants his soul back. He tries to convince Dean that he is still the same Sam. He works Crowley's cases without question and claims that his brain works better than ever. But his actions contradict this, as when dealing with a skinwalker case in All Dogs Go To Heaven, Sam orders Dean to take a shot at the pack leader, even when there is an innocent in the way. Sam later comes clean to Dean about himself. He admits that he's not the old Sam and that he doesn't even care that much about Dean, besides the fact that he needs his help. He also says he's done a lot worse than Dean's aware of, including killing innocent people when they get in his way. After some thought, Sam reluctantly tells Dean he should probably go back to being the old Sam and get his soul back. Dean acknowledges this.In Clap Your Hands If You Believe, Sam struggles with understanding emotions and is more openly rude and crass since Dean knows something's wrong with him. He confronts a leprechaun, who offers a deal to lift Sam's soul from the cage. Sam expresses curiosity, but banishes him and the other fairies. When asked by Dean why he refused, Sam suggests that deals have never lead them anywhere good. Dean then questions whether Sam is having second thoughts, which Sam denies with a simple "No."
Sam and Dean continue to work for Crowley in Caged Heat, despite Dean's remarks about them not getting anywhere. The brothers are unexpectedly captured by Meg, who wants them to give her Crowley's location. Sam makes a deal with her: they will give her Crowley if she promises to torture Crowley to get him to give Sam back his soul. He then calls Castiel to join the group for searching for Crowley. Samuel gives the party the location, but once inside Crowley's prison, Sam and Dean are captured by Crowley's demons, as the two have been sold out by Samuel. The two are put in separate cells, and while the demons take Dean away to have him killed by ghouls, Sam escapes his cell and saves Dean. The brothers confront Crowley and Sam demands his soul. When Crowley refuses, Castiel burns the demon's bones. Sam overhears the negative side effects of what having his soul back in what do to him from both demons and Castiel, such as insanity, death, or paralysis. Sam's soul most likely had been tortured over a year by Michael and Lucifer in the cage. Sam's second thoughts increase. Dean tries to reassure Sam, but Sam tells him that he does not think he wants his soul back after all.
|“||I heard Cass and Crowley when they said it'd either kill me or turn me to jello, Dean! I've heard enough! [...] It's my life! My soul! And it sure as hell ain't gonna be your head that's gonna explode when this whole scheme of yours go sideways!||”|
— Sam refusing to get his soul back
in Appointment In Samarra
In Appointment In Samarra, Dean informs Sam and Bobby that he has made a deal with Death that could result in Sam getting his soul back. Death will put up a "wall" in Sam's head to protect him from the memories of Hell. Bobby is given the job of watching Sam while Dean does Death's job for a day. But Sam slips out of Bobby's watch to summon Balthazar. He asks Balthazar for a way to keep his soul out of his body and Balthazar tells Sam that he has to make his body uninhabitable for his soul by committing patricide. Since John is already dead, Sam resolves to kill Bobby after he is told that it can be a father-figure as well. Bobby realizes what Sam is up to, however, and manages to drop Sam into the basement. Sam again finds a way to escape, and when Bobby goes outside to look for him, Sam knocks him out from behind. He ties Bobby to a chair and prepares to kill him, but Dean shows up in the nick of time and knocks Sam out. Sam wakes up chained to the bed in the panic room as Death shows up to restore Sam's soul to his body, with the latter screaming to stay away from him. Death brings out his soul and starts the painful process as Sam begs Dean for help but his brother can only watch in horror. Death says Sam (his soul) spent approximately 180 years in Hell and that he will put up a wall in Sam's mind and advises him to pick at ir.
Sam wakes up about a week later in Like A Virgin, with no apparent memory of Hell or even his year without a soul. He is emotional, sensitive, and full of life, much unlike "RoboSam." He questions Dean on a number of occasions, as to how he got back, and if he even tried to live a normal life. But after a while, Sam starts to have feelings of deja vu. When Dean and Bobby both remain tight-lipped, Sam tricks Castiel into filling in the blanks of his year being soulless. After getting rid of a couple of dragons, Sam apologizes to Dean about all he's done, feeling guilty and expressing a will to set things right. He is apparently not angry, but grateful about Dean trying to protect him. However, he wants to know what he did while he was soulless. Dean does not divulge any details, knowing the risk of Death's wall crumbling.
|“||I kind of feel like I got slipped the worst mickey of all time ... and I woke up to find I burned the whole city town. And you can say it wasn't me, but I was the one with the zippo in my pocket, y'know? So I'm not sure it's that cut and dry. And look, I appreciate you trying to protect to me. I really do. But I gotta fix ... what I gotta fix. So I need to know what I did.||”|
— Sam's quest to redeem his missing year
in Like A Virgin
In Unforgiven, Sam tries to catch up on the year he was "gone." He receives a mysterious text from an unknown number, giving coordinates to a small town where three women have disappeared in the last week. Upon arriving, Sam already begins to have flashbacks of his time there, and remembers that he used the sheriff as live bait to track down an Arachne. Upon finding the Arachne's lair, he killed it, then shot all of the captive men (including the sheriff). But it turns out the sheriff didn't die and is now an Arachne himself. Sam manages to decapitate him and, feeling guilty, agrees that they shouldn't have come to town. As he wonders about what else he could have done, he collapses on the floor and has a flashback of himself burning in Lucifer's Cage. He is out for a whole minute before waking up, but Sam tells Dean that it felt like a week had passed by.
Later, Sam, Dean, and Bobby all track leads for the Mother of All Monsters, Eve. They team up with an old friend, Rufus Turner, and run into Gwen and Samuel. Samuel notices the difference in Sam, who he only knew when he was soulless.The team of hunters realize that what they are hunting is a Khan Worm that takes possession of a person's body and kills anyone around them. It first possesses Dean, who shoots Gwen. Then possesses Samuel, who is shot by Sam. A possessed Bobby kills Rufus, and is later knocked out by Dean only to be interrogated and almost killed.
In Frontierland, Sam remembers the Campbell Compound had a hidden library, where they might be able to find something about killing Eve. Dean finds Samuel Colt's journal, where he reads that Colt killed a phoenix. He suggests a plan to head back in time and bring back the ashes. Castiel sends them to 1861 and Sam finds Samuel Colt, who is retired, but gives him the Colt, which Dean uses to kill the phoenix. They return before they can grab the ashes, but a delivery was made to Sam from Colt himself, containing his broken cell phone and the ashes.
In Mommy Dearest, Sam, Dean, Bobby, and Castiel head to Eve with the ashes. They find out that Eve is currently populating the small town with new monsters. However, once the boys confront Eve (who has taken their mother's form), she proposes an offer: to bring her Crowley, who is apparently alive, and she will let the group live. Dean protests that they don't work for monsters and persuades Eve to bite him, and Eve is killed after discovering phoenix ashes in Dean's bloodstream. Sam and Bobby suspect that Crowley faked his death, and that Castiel purposely meant to burn the wrong bones.
Dean tries to remain loyal in The Man Who Would Be King, and argues in favor of Castiel, but Sam and Bobby remain suspicious. Castiel gives himself away, however, and the three trap Castiel in holy fire to interrogate him. Not only does he confirm his alliance with Crowley, but he reveals to all that he was really the one who freed Sam from Lucifer's Cage, not Crowley. Though surprised, Sam is distrustful of Castiel as he believes he brought him back soulless intentionally but Castiel denies it. When Crowley shows up, Castiel tells them to escape.
In Let It Bleed, Castiel arrives at Bobby's place to try to explain himself and Bobby notices that he stole a journal that suggested that horror writer H.P. Lovecraft had attempted to open a door to Purgatory. Ben calls Dean to tell him that men are coming for him and his mom after killing her boyfriend. Crowley then takes the phone and gives him the warning to back off in order for Lisa and Ben to keep breathing. Sam and Dean summon Balthazar for help on finding Lisa and Ben, and they manage to rescue them from the demons. Once in the hospital, Dean asks Castiel to wipe their memories of him and tells Sam not to mention them.
In the season finale, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Sam is stuck in his own head after Castiel brings down Death's wall. He runs into the soulless version of himself and kills him, which gives him the memories of his soulless year. Sam then arrives at a grim facade of Bobby's house, where he finds the version of himself from Hell. The Hell Sam pleads for him to remain unconscious and ignorant, but Sam insists on putting himself back together because he can't leave his brother out there alone. He stabs and integrates with his other self, now remembering Hell.
|“|| Sam: "What happened in the cage?"|
Tortured!Sam: "Trust me. You don't wanna know."
Sam: "You're right. But I still have to."
Tortured!Sam: "Sam, you can't imagine. Stay here, go back, find that bartender, go find Jess, but don't do this. I know you. You're not strong enough."
Sam: "We'll just have to see."
Tortured!Sam: "Why is this so important to you?"
Sam: "You know me. You know why. I'm not leaving my brother alone out there."
— Sam's resolve
in The Man Who Knew Too Much
Sam wakes up and continues on to Crowley's headquarters, where he sees an overpowered Castiel return to destroy Raphael. Sam picks up an angelic blade and stabs him in the back. But Castiel simply pulls the weapon out and says the blade won't work because he is not an angel anymore. He proclaims himself their new God, and gives them the choice to either venerate him or be killed.
|“|| Sam: "Meat hooks ... chains ... you. It's not real. It's just my brain leaking memories from the cage 'cause of the wall breaking down. That's all." |
Lucifer: "Hmm. That's very good, your little theory. It's wrong. Sam, this isn't you going guano. Everything else is. [...] Everything ... from the second you sprung out of that locked box."
Sam: "That's impossible."
Lucifer "No. Escaping was impossible. I have to say, I think this is my best torture yet. Make you believe you're free and then ... yank the wool off of your eyes. You never left, Sam. You're still in the cage ... with me."
— Sam's hallucinations
in Meet the New Boss
Soon after Sam tells Dean and Bobby about his flashbacks and hallucinations. Knowing he has a problem Sam decides to stay behind on hunts. He is soon tricked by Lucifer, and brought to a warehouse by him where he is manipulated into almost shooting Dean. Dean manages to snap Sam out it using the pain from his scar, and they return to Bobby's. There they find it in ruins and Edgar waiting for them. Sam is knocked out, but Bobby manages to save him at the hospital.
In The Girl Next Door, he notices a case that he worked when he was a teenager. He leaves Dean without giving him any information and takes the Impala to track down the clues. He eventually finds Amy again, and asks her why she's killing. She tells Sam she has a son, and he needed the live meat after he fell sick. After she assures him that she will not kill again, he lets her live. Returning to the motel room, he meets with Dean again. He tells Dean about Amy and defends her despite being a monster, telling Dean to leave her be and just trust him.
|“||Look. I see the way you look at me, Dean. Like I'm a grenade and you're waiting for me to go off. I'm not going off. Look, I might be a freak, but that's not the same as dangerous. [...] I spent a lot of my life trying to be normal, but come on. I'm not normal. Look at all the crap I've done. Look at me now. I'm a grade-A freak. But I'm managing it.||”|
in The Girl Next Door
In Defending Your Life, Sam and Dean are hunting Osiris who is putting the guilty on trial. Sam puts his old pre-law skills to use in attempt to save Dean's life. After managing to save Dean, Sam admits he no longer feels about his mistakes and sees himself as being fairly punished for it by his torture in Hell. Sam even goes as far to say he feels good and hopes someday he can fully move on from the past.
|“||I think I just ... don't feel guilty anymore. [...] I just ... y'know, I feel like I did a lot of stuff I should've felt bad for, and then I paid a lot of dues and came out the other side, y'know? [...] I guess I just feel like ... my past is past and I can finally move on with me life. You know, hopefully.||”|
— Sam admitting he doesn't feel guilty anymore
in Defending Your Life
In Slash Fiction, Sam and Dean are put under the polices' microscope yet again after Leviathan clones of them start a mass-killing spree, turning them into FBI's most wanted. Bobby manages to discover Leviathans are weakened by cutting off their heads and using sodium borax. The brothers defeat their doppelgangers and convince a police officer to cover for them by declaring them dead. Sam, however, learns from Leviathan Dean that Dean killed Amy behind his back. Sam is furious and confronts Dean before storming off and separating from him.
Sam is reunited with Dean a week later in Lily Dale. Sam is still angry with Dean, but grudgingly works on the case with him. They figure out that Jimmy Tomorrow has Marget Fox's Bones. Sam tries to reason with Jimmy without any luck and is forced to shoot Jimmy. Sam burns the bones and later makes up with Dean and they hunt together again.In Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!, Sam is drugged with a love potion and marries Becky. When he comes back to his senses, Becky knocks him out and ties him to a bed. Sam convinces Becky to let him go and help them trap Guy. Sam is angry at Becky for drugging him and annuls the marriage, though reluctantly tells her to try to be hopeful and one day she'll find someone right for her. Sam seems to be coping better at this point with his hallucinations of Lucifer in his own way, but Dean is still privately concerned about his stability.
In How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters, Sam does a case with Bobby and Dean where burgers are changing people and eventually turning them either stoned or into a man-eating monster. Sam grows concerned over the apathy Dean is beginning to exhibit and worries he's putting too much pressure on himself between Sam's broken wall and losing Castiel. He, Dean, and Bobby find out that its a Leviathan plot and meet Dick Roman, the leader of the Leviathans who secured himself as a powerful business to spread across the country more rapidly. They all manage to narrowly escape his headquarters, but Bobby is fatally shot in the head as they escape.
|“||I don't know, Bobby. Seeing Lucifer's fine with me. [...] Look, I'm not saying it's fun. I mean, to be honest with you, I kind of see it as the best-case scenario. At least my crazy's all under one umbrella, you know? I kind of know what I'm dealing with. A lot of people got it worse.||”|
— Sam's apparent coping of his hallucinations
in How To Win Friends And Influence Monsters
In Death's Door, Sam and Dean rush Bobby to the ER. Sam is worried for Bobby, but readies himself for the worst. He still suffers from his hallucinations of Lucifer, which he holds at bay by pressing into the scar in his hand. Sam is worried for Bobby, but readies himself for the worst. Surprisingly, Bobby manages to wake up briefly and writes numbers on Sam's hand before dying tragically.
Weeks pass after Bobby's death. Both brothers are still devastated by loss, though Sam copes with his more grief more productively than Dean and still tries to focus on helping people. Dean manages to discover the numbers Bobby gave them were coordinates to a subsidiary of Rick Roman, though they have no idea why it's so important.
Sam grows concerned and frustrated by Dean's consuming obsession to kill Dick Roman and lack of interest in other cases that aren't revolving around him. After strange activity leading to hints for their case, Dean starts to believe Bobby is haunting them and is linked to his flask. Sam refuses the idea and even gets angry, reminding him they had no proof. Dean unknowingly conceives a daughter named Emma with an Amazon, who ages rapidly and reaches teenage years in three days. The tribe are monsters and have a rite of passage for the daughters to kill their fathers. Dean hesitates to kill her, but Sam shoots her. Dean is clearly uncomfortable, causing Sam to lecture him and remind him he had to kill Emma just like Dean "had" to kill Amy. Sam confronts him about his behavior after losing Castiel and Bobby, but Dean shuts him out.
In Repo Man, Sam allows Lucifer's hallucination to help him find Jeffrey who had taken Dean hostage. After helping him however, Lucifer reappears. Sam tries to make him go away by causing pain to himself through his scar but to no avail. Lucifer tells him that by allowing Lucifer to help him, he had in turn given Lucifer a firmer grip on his mind.
Sam hallucinations of Lucifer worsens every day, pressing into his scar to dispel him still not working. In Out With The Old, Sam starts to deprive himself of sleep due to the constant torment Lucifer gives him. Dean is concerned about his brother and while Sam admits Lucifer is stressing him more than usual, he tries to say he's fine and continue working hunting jobs.
In The Born-Again Identity, Sam is admitted into a psychiatric ward after he had a full blown psychotic episode with Lucifer. Sam is resigned to his condition, though Dean desperately looks into anything to heal his mind. Despite his insanity, Sam manages to help a fellow psychiatric patient named Marion by saving her from the ghost of her dead brother. Sam is unable to sleep and is on the verge of death as Dean stumbles upon Castiel who is reincarnated and using the name Emmanuel.
|“|| Sam: "None of this is real."|
Lucifer: "And yet ... you know what really sucks? It doesn't really matter. Because I won. Your madness won. I mean, look at you. It's hard to believe you were the guy that saved the world once."
— Sam slipping deeper into insanity
in The Born-Again Identity
Dean, along with Meg, brings an amnesiac Castiel to Sam to heal him. As Castiel slowly regains his memories, Sam slips into complete insanity and can't tell the difference between what's real and what isn't. Castiel is unable to cure Sam, but is able to transfer his hallucinations to his own mind. Sam seems better than ever and gets his sanity back, but at the cost of Castiel's.
In Party On, Garth, it is revealed that Sam tried to use the ouija board to contact Bobby's spirit. He didn't tell Dean because he didn't want to drag him in, and admits that he didn't contact anything. After Dean's sword is suddenly thrown up in his hand during a fight, Sam still doesn't believe his brother that Bobby can still be around and tries to tell him he's just confusing his grief.
Soon enough, while working a case in Of Grave Importance surrounding ghosts who are in torment of another spirit, Sam and Dean discover Bobby's spirit has been following them. He had been tied to Dean's flask and at first couldn't communicate with Sam for that reason. Sam and Dean are happy to see Bobby, but uncomfortable to know he hadn't moved on and found peace. Bobby justifies this and just wants to help. Sam unsurely wonders if Bobby helping them as ghost could maybe work, but Dean is less convinced.
Soon after, in The Girl With The Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo, Sam and Dean receive an automatic email from Frank, who had been recently killed by Leviathans. The message informs them a hacker of Dick's at Roman Enterprises is hacking into Frank's information about them. The hacker turned out to be Charlie Bradbury, who discovered the truth about Dick Roman and Leviathans after hacking it. It's discovered that the Leviathan's ultimate plan is to turn people into "perfect cattle" for their meals. Sam and Dean rush to location by GPS tracker on Frank's hard drive, managing to get a reluctant Charlie to sneak in Dick Roman's office and get his private information. Bobby, however, set on vengeance follows them despite Sam and Dean's warnings.
Charlie manages to get Dick Roman's information and give the brothers a chance to steal a private package being transported to Dick, but is injured accidentally by Bobby who lost control seeing Dick. Sam and Dean narrowly escape, discovering the package to be an tablet. Charlie survives with a broken arm and departs, leaving the brothers with an unknown tablet and concerns of Bobby turning into a vengeful spirit.
Sam and Dean crack up the angel tablet in Reading Is Fundamental, unknowingly calling Kevin Tran as the new prophet. Simultaneously Castiel awakens in the mental ward. The brothers rush over to a now insane Castiel who still manages to decipher the tablet as the Word of God. During this time, the tablet is stolen by Kevin. Sam and Meg pursue him, discovering his identity from angels who are after them. Sam, Dean, Meg, and Castiel take Kevin to their safehouse to ward them off. Sam is grateful towards Castiel for taking on his memories of Hell and swears to help him.
|“||I know you never did anything but try to help. I realize that, Cass, and I'm grateful. We're all grateful. And we're gonna help you get better, okay? No matter what it takes.||”|
— Sam's promise to Castiel
in Reading Is Fundamental
After defeating the angels who found them, with help of Kevin's translations decipher the tablet and discover how to kill Leviathans: a bone of a righteous mortal dipped in blood of the fallen. The brothers get blood from Castiel--- a fallen angel--- and set out to find the other too.
Dick Roman's power grows. By There Will Be Blood, Dean and Sam are resorted to eating organic food on a daily basis as all other foods are infected by Leviathans. The brothers discover the other blood types are from an alpha and Crowley. Crowley refuses to give his blood right away so Sam and Dean go after the Alpha Vampire. After discovering the Leviathans plan to exterminate not just humans but monsters, the alpha grudgingly gives them his blood. Sam and Dean's plan is successful so until they go to the motel to find Bobby gone and the place ransacked. While Dean is unwilling to accept Bobby becoming vengeful, Sam is realistic and knows that soon Bobby will be no different than the ghosts they hunted.
In Survival of the Fittest, Sam and Dean collect a bone from a dead nun and try to summon Crowley for his blood but he doesn't show. This cause the brothers to doubt Crowley's help but sure enough he appears later with a vial of his blood. He explains the deal Dick tried to make with him of giving them another demon's blood, but has the "real deal". Neither Sam or Dean trust Crowley, but know they have no other choice. During this time, Sam figures out Dick Roman had Leviathans clone themselves as him in his headquarters to make him harder to spot. Bobby, still possessing a maid, recklessly goes there. Bobby nearly kills Sam as he tries to stop him and the maid, but snaps out of it just in time.
In the aftermath, Bobby appears and finally asks the boys to burn his flask. He was too close to being a vengeful spirit. Sam doesn't blame Bobby for nearly killing him and both him and Dean are sad at losing their surrogate father yet again, but do the right thing and put him to rest. Castiel, who had initially refused to help them fight despite being able to identify which Leviathan is the real Dick, is convinced by Dean and set out to SucroCorp with him and Meg.
The next day, Dean and Castiel go after Dick while Sam tries to find Kevin who had been kidnapped. Meanwhile, Meg distracts the Leviathans outside. Sam finds Kevin and Dean and Castiel successfully kill Dick together. Sam appears with Kevin just in time to watch Dick explode in black goo, Dean and Castiel disappearing along with him. Crowley appears to a startled Sam, kidnapping Meg and having known all along the weapon would have "side-effects" for the users. Crowley mocks Sam, then leaves with Kevin Tran. Sam is left alone in the building, looking lost and completely in the dark about where Dean is.
|“||Can't help you, Sam. [...] You got what you wanted. Dick's dead, saved the world. So I want one little prophet. Sorry, Moose. Wish I could help. You certainly have a lot on your plate. It looks like you are well and truly ... on your own.||”|
— Crowley's ominous words to Sam
in Survival of the Fittest
|“||As far as I knew, what we do is the thing that got every single member of my family killed. I had no one. No one. And for the first time in my life, I was completely alone. And honestly, I-I didn't exactly have a roadmap. So yeah, I fixed up the Impala ... and just drove.||”|
— Sam recalling the aftermath of Dean's disappearance
in We Need To Talk About Kevin
After Dean and Castiel disappeared, Sam was left alone with no leads and finds nothing on Kevin or Meg's whereabouts. Without Dean, Sam develops a cynical perspective on the "family business" after losing so many people and retires from hunting. Sam didn't know where Dean was or what happened to him, but didn't try to look for him and assumed he was dead. Instead, Sam ditches his old phones for hunting and drove off with the Impala.
Early in the year, Sam accidentally hits a stray dog. He takes it immediately to a veterinary clinic where he meets a vet named Amelia Richardson. Sam keeps the dog and takes care of it, at first just calling it "Dog". Sam manages to get a job as a handyman at the motel he was staying in where he runs into Amelia there, who was staying there. Amelia at first distrusts him, but the two get closer and connect over having no one else to go to. Sam develops feelings for her. Sam learns Amelia's husband died in Afghanistan eight months before and Sam admits he recently lost his brother. While Amelia is at first hesitant to be with him because she doesn't want pity, the two form an understanding and bond over their shared losses.
|“||I don't pity you. Okay? I don't. You and I .. we're a lot of things, but we're not to be pitied. Look, I lost my brother Dean a few months ago. It felt like my world imploded and came raining down on me, and ... I ran. Just like you.||”|
— Sam connecting to Amelia
in Southern Comfort
At some point, Sam moves in and enters in a relationship with Amelia and the name their dog Riot. Sam even has his birthday celebrated, something he rarely did hunting, and would later reflect on this as one of his fonder memories. While still keeping tabs on the supernatural cases around town in the news, Sam ignored the cases and rationalized it as job for another hunter. He realizes it's not his job to save everyone and just decides to move on with his life.
Eventually, Sam meets Amelia's father Stan Thompson. He's skeptical of Sam, who knows he's running from something and believes he's being with Amelia for the wrong reasons. Sam admits he recently lost his brother, who he still grieves for, but refuses he's with Amelia wrongly. Stan warms up to him and they have a nice family dinner until Amelia gets a call, revealing her husband Don is still alive.
With Don home, Sam and Amelia get a rut. Sam respects her relationship with her husband, but still believes them together is right. Amelia agrees. Sam talks with Don who tells them to respect Amelia's choice, whatever that is, if he really loves her. Sam feels bad and decides to leave Amelia, encouraging her to be with her husband.
|“||I know that you and Don deserve a chance, okay? And ... I think you know that too. Just give him a chance. Like you gave me. I mean, Amelia ... you saved me.||”|
— Sam to Amelia as he leaves
in Citizen Fang
|“|| Sam: "People were okay, Dean. [...] Look, I did what we promised we'd do. I moved on. I lived my life. [...] Look, it wasn't like I was just ... oblivious. I mean, I read the paper every day. I saw the weird stories. The kind of stuff we used to chase.|
Dean: "And you said what? 'Not my problem'?"
Sam: " Yes. And you know what? The world went on. [...] People will always die, Dean. Or maybe another hunter took care of it. I don't know, but the point is, for the first time, I realized it wasn't only up to me to stop it."
— Sam's new outlook
in We Need To Talk About Kevin
After Dean returns from Purgatory with the help of a vampire named Benny, Sam reunites with his brother after a year. Sam tells Dean he had retired from hunting ever since Dean disappeared and had been in a relationship with a woman named Amelia. Sam admits he hadn't looked for Dean because he had no one to help him and thought he was dead. Dean is betrayed by this and resents Sam's decision to quit, especially after he goes through Sam's old mobiles which were filled with messages from Kevin months old after he escaped from Crowley. Sam is guilty over this and agrees with Dean they need to go find him.
As they look for Kevin, strain between Sam and Dean is obvious. Dean criticizes Sam's quitting even after reading about supernatural cases in the news, which he admits he ignored. While Dean still believes it's their responsibility to save people, Sam disagrees and admits in the last year he finally realized he didn't have to save everyone. Eventually, Sam locates Kevin and the brothers find him in hiding, but alive. Kevin reveals Crowley made him read off another tablet about demons, which included ways to kill/banish them or close the gates of Hell forever. Dean is motivated by prospect of closing the gates of Hell forever, though Sam is more unsure for Kevin's sake. Crowley and his demons appear for Kevin, but all three of them escape.
|“||Kevin ... I owe you an apology. Look ... when you disappeared and Dean disappeared... I needed to clear my head. And ... I'm thinking maybe you were one of the pieces I should've picked up.||”|
— Sam apologizing for ignoring Kevin
in We Need To Talk About Kevin
In What's Up, Tiger Mommy?, Sam officially returns to hunting with his brother. After Kevin's request to see if his mother was still safe, they stake out her house and save her from demons. Despite Sam and Dean's protests, Mrs. Tran wants to stay with them to help protect her son. After discovering the tablet had been stolen, they eventually track it down to a demonic auction and are put against Crowley for the tablet. When Kevin is auctioned as being a "pair" to the tablet, Ms. Tran offers up her own soul for him and the tablet. Crowley takes this opportunity to possess her and a fight breaks out. Crowley exits out of Ms. Tran to his original vessel and manages to leave with the tablet. Ms. Tran, however, is left traumatized by possession. In the aftermath, Kevin and his mother trick the Winchesters and disappear. Kevin leaves them a note saying not to find them and he wasn't going to get killed being useless to them (as Crowley warned).
Sam reluctantly continues to work cases, but it becomes clear in Heartache his heart just isn't in it. He shows an appreciation for simpler things in life and even has applications to a university. Dean pushes Sam to accept hunting again, but his fresh purpose in the job only alienates Sam. He admits to Dean they want different things in life and after closing the gates of Hell he wants to give up hunting for a normal life.
|“||Dean, listen. When this is over, when we close up shop on Kevin and the tablet, I'm done. I mean that. [...] Dean, the year that I took off, I had something I never had. A normal life. I mean, I got to see what that felt like. I want that. I had that.||”|
After another failed attempt to locate Kevin in Blood Brother, Dean leaves after getting a call from Benny for help and doesn't tell Sam where's going. Sam is annoyed over his secretive attitude and angered further when he finds out Dean went to a vampire nest helping a "friend". Eventually, Sam is made aware of the situation and meets up with them after the nest was destroyed. Sam officially meets Benny, though quickly realizes he's a vampire. Sam and becomes extremely jealous of Benny's relationship with Dean. He also feels hurt that Dean has a friendship with a vampire when he killed Sam's friend Amy for being a monster just the year before.
In Southern Comfort, Sam is angry for Dean for trusting a vampire and refuses to see what he sees in Benny, bringing up Amy that Dean had killed a year before just for a monster. The tension between them boils when Dean is possessed by a specter that forces people to kill the person they hold grudge against. Dean zeros in on Sam, who feels betrayed by him---more recently for not finding him in Purgatory---and reveals he never fully forgive him for his past mistakes. When the specter is defeated, Sam sees right through Dean's attempts to brush it off and stands up to him, telling him to admit what bothers him on what he did and get over it or he'll drive Sam away.
|“||Own up to your crap, Dean. I told you from the jump where I was coming from, why I didn't look for you. But you? You had secrets. You had Benny. And you got on your high and mighty, and you've been kicking me ever since you got back. But that's over. So move on. Or I will.||”|
— Sam stands up to Dean
in Southern Comfort
In A Little Slice of Kevin, Sam is astounded when Castiel mysteriously returns from Purgatory without any memory of how he got out. Afterwards, they discover Crowley is kidnapping future prophets to help him decipher the tablet without Kevin. Soon enough, Crowley does indeed kidnap Kevin again and the brothers receive a call from help from Mrs. Tran. Sam, Dean, and Castiel infiltrate Crowley's hideout. Castiel manages to secure Kevin and distract Crowley, breaking the tablet in two before he can escape with it. Crowley gets away with one half, leaving the group with the other half of the tablet and Kevin. Kevin agrees to help them close the gates of Hell and they set out to find Crowley.
In Citizen Fang, Sam's distrust of Benny worsens when a trail of vampire kills leads right to where Benny has settled down in. It's revealed Sam had Martin Creaser to keep tabs on him if any bodies appeared. At Dean's behest, Sam agrees to give Benny the benefit of the doubt, but Martin is adamant Benny is responsible. Dean sends Sam a fake S.O.S. text from Amelia to get him out of the way. Sam rushes to the rescue, only to find Amelia with her husband and perfectly unharmed. Meanwhile, an innocent Benny is forced to kill Martin in self-defense. Sam figures out Dean tricked him and is angry over it, only for Amelia herself to appear to him.
In Torn and Frayed, Sam and Amelia catch up. She admits to Sam that she still loves him, and will be with him if he wants to stay with her. Sam takes a few days to consider her offer, and helps Dean and Castiel rescue an angel named Samandriel from Crowley in the meantime. Dean tells Sam that he will give him his full blessing if he decides to stay with Amelia, but Sam admits he's been having second thoughts about a normal life with everything going on with the tablets and Kevin. Amelia shows up at the rendezvous point, but Sam chooses to stay with Dean.
|“||She does make me happy, and she could be waiting for me if I went back. I'd be a very luck man if she was. But now ... with everything staring down at us, with all that's left to be done ... I don't know.||”|
— Sam's second thoughts
in Torn and Frayed
In As Time Goes By, Sam and Dean meet their grandfather, Henry Winchester, and help him take down a demonic Knight of Hell named Abaddon. The brothers discover their ancestors on their father's side were Men of Letters--- chroniclers of the unknown and unexplained that had immense knowledge, which they usually passed to hunters worthy. Henry dies protecting the key. Sam and Dean give him a funeral with his other deceased Men Of Letters friends. They're lead to the headquarters, and after further research and working a case with the Juda Society, Sam takes up the throne as the next "legacy" and becomes a Man of Letters.
Kevin finally manages to decipher the demon tablet in Trial and Error, and using Kevin's translation of the Word of God, Dean convinces Sam that he should be the one to attempt the trials to shut Hell's gates. hey track a hellhound towards a farm were Crowley made multiple deals. Upon realizing Dean's motivation to do the trials is a suicide mission, Sam argues with him. Dean tracks the hellhound and nearly killed, but Sam kills it instead, fulfilling the requirements for one of the trials.
In the aftermath, Sam confronts Dean over his apathetic, low opinion of himself and expresses his complete faith and admiration in him. Sam tells him he knows he can do the trials instead, but wants Dean to believe in him too. Dean reluctantly lets Sam be chosen for the trials and the first ritual is complete.
|“||I want to slam the gates shut too, okay? But I want to survive it. I want to live and so should you. You friends up here. Family. [...] You're right, okay? I see the light at the end of this tunnel. And I'm sorry you don't. I am. But it's there. And if you come with me, I can take you to it. [...] You're not a grunt, Dean. You're a genius. You're the best damn hunter I've ever seen. Better than me, better than Dad. I believe in you, Dean. So please, please believe in me too.||”|
— Sam choosing to do the trials
in Trial and Error
In Man's Best Friend With Benefits, Sam is frustrated by Dean who is still trying to convince him not to do the trials. Sam believes it's because Dean's unable to trust anyone but himself. Eventually, Dean clarifies he does trust him and by trusting him he should respect his choice to do the trials. Meanwhile, the effect resulting from the trial is revealed when Sam coughs up a spot of blood, but hides it from his brother even though he seems visibly shaken.
While working on a case in Goodbye Stranger, they run into Castiel and discover that Crowley has been searching for Lucifer's crypt, seeing as it contains the angel tablet. They also discover that Crowley has been torturing Meg for information, as she knows the true whereabouts of their location. They rescue Meg, who takes them there, but Dean insists that Sam stay outside while he and Castiel look for the tablet. Sam declares that he feels fine, but Castiel tells him that the effects of the trial have damaged Sam in ways that not even he can heal and that they've changed him on a "subatomic level". Meg and Sam discuss the year he spent with Amelia, and Meg tells him that she understands his desire for a normal life and a relationship. She is then killed by Crowley while trying to protect them and Castiel. They escape from Crowley and Sam and Dean have a heart to heart, promising not to lie to each other.
In Taxi Driver, Kevin translates the second trial as needing to "rescue an innocent soul from Hell". After meeting up with a rogue reaper named Ajay, Sam and Dean discover that Crowley had secretly sent Bobby's soul to Hell, and Sam goes with Ajay to try and rescue him. Sam reunites with Bobby and they take the portal through Purgatory. When Ajay doesn't show, Sam and Bobby are forced to fight monsters and are trapped in there. They're rescued by Benny, who agreed to let Dean kill him to help him save Sam from Purgatory with the plan to bring them both back.Benny leads them out of Purgatory, but chooses to stay behind, not able to fit in Earth. Sam and Dean send Bobby's soul to Heaven, completing the second trial. Sam tells that he was wrong about Benny, and that he was a good person after all.
Sam continues to get sicker and sicker from the trials, and becomes convinced that he won't get better until he finishes them. Sam, however, starts to remember things and begins to feel like the trials are changing him: purifying him. Crowley captures Kevin in The Great Escapist, and leads Sam and Dean to believe that he is dead. They go off looking for a way to translate the third trial by themselves, and run into an angel named Metatron. Metatron reveals that he was the scribe of God and the original author of the tablets before he went into hiding on Earth. Sam and Dean convince him to rescue Kevin from Crowley, and he tells them that the third trial requires them to "cure a demon".
|“||You know, I've been remembering things, little things, so clearly. [...] You used to read to me when I was little. I mean, really little, from that--- from that old ... Classic Illustrated comic book. [...] Knights of the Round table. Had all of King Arthur's knights, and they were all on the quest for the Holy Grail. [...] I remember thinking I could never go on a quest like that. Because I'm not clean. I mean, I was just a kid. You think maybe I knew? I mean, deep down, that ... I had demon blood in me, and about the evil of it, and that I'm--- wasn't pure? [...] It doesn't matter anymore. Because these trials ... they're purifying me.||”|
— Sam on the effects of the trial
in The Great Escapist
In Clip Show, Sam and Dean watch a series of old exorcism videos in the Men of Letters files that detail how to cure a demon. The brothers dig up Abaddon and intend to cure her to finish the trials, but Crowley calls and reveals he's killing off all the people they ever saved if they don't surrender. Abaddon escapes. With no demon to cure, Sam and Dean go after Crowley, but Crowley threatens to kill Sam's old fling Sarah Blake if they don't give up the tablet. Sam and Dean do everything they can to protect her, but can't manage to save her life in time. Sam, grieving, considers surrendering, but Dean tells him to push him on.
In the season finale, Sacrifice, Crowley threatens to murder Jody, and Sam and Dean agree to give up the trials in order to save her life. They arrive to make a deal with Crowley, but capture him with some of the bunker's demon-proof handcuffs, revealing that they are planning on using him for the third trial. They lock Crowley down in a church and Sam begins the process of curing him, injecting him with Sam's human blood which he blessed by confession once every few hours. Dean is called away to help Castiel in his attempt to shut the gates of Heaven, and Sam is left to finish the ritual alone. He notices that Crowley becomes more and more human as the night goes on, and Crowley finally admits to Sam that he just wants to be loved. Abaddon appears, planning on killing Crowley and taking over Hell, but Sam manages to set her meatsuit on fire, seemingly killing her. Dean arrives just in time to stop Sam from completing the trial, who learned completing it would result in his death. Sam doesn't care and thinks closing the gates of Hell is worth it. He explains that he feels like all he does is let his brother down, and admits how hard it's been for him to see Dean turn to Benny and Castiel instead of him. Dean tells Sam that he'd never put anything or anyone in front of him and that Sam is the person he cares about more than anyone else.
|“|| Dean: "Think about it. Think about what we know, huh? Pulling souls from Hell, curing demons. Hell, ganking a hellhound! We have enough knowledge on our side to turn the tide here. But I can't do it without you."|
Sam: (distraught) "You can barely do it with me. I mean, you think I screw up everything I try. You think I need a chaperone, remember? [...] You want to know what I confessed in there? What my greatest sin was? It was how many times I let you down. (tearfully) I can't do that again. What happens when you decided I can't be trusted again? I mean, who are you going to turn to next instead of me? Another angel? Another ... another vampire?"
— Sam's confession to Dean
Dean asks Sam to stop the final trial, claiming that they can do more good as a team. Sam agrees, but the effect of the trials doesn't subside and Sam cries out in pain. Dean helps Sam outside and they witness all the angels falling from Heaven.
|“||Honestly, I feel better than I have in a long time. I mean, I realize it's crazy out there, and we have trouble coming for us, but I look around and I see friends, and family. I am happy with my life, for the first time in ... forever. I am. I really am.||”|
— Sam to Dean
in Devil May Care
Sam is now in a coma as a result of the trials. In his mind, he is starting to give up and considers letting himself die. His desire to live and his desire to die manifest themselves as images of Dean and Bobby, respectively, and they fight among each other in his head. Sam finally agrees with Bobby and apologizes to the vision of Dean in his head, saying goodbye. He comes face to face with Death, who has come to collect him personally, and Sam asks him to make sure that his death is permanent this time. Meanwhile, in the real world Dean has asked an angel named "Ezekiel" to help him cure Sam. Ezekiel tells Dean that the only way he can save Sam's life is if Sam allows him to possess his body. Dean realizes that Sam would never agree to such a thing, and in a moment of desperation agrees to help Ezekiel trick Sam into saying yes. Ezekiel shows up in Sam's head, disguised as Dean, and begs Sam to live so they can stay together. Sam agrees, and Ezekiel possesses his body. He promises Dean that Sam will never know he's hiding inside him, and that as soon as he's healed Sam he'll leave.
In Devil May Care, Sam is still unaware that he's harboring an angel, and is surprised to find out that Dean left Crowley alive. Dean argues that Crowley can help them track down all the demons on Earth, and him and Sam lock him up in the bunker's dungeon. They receive word that Abaddon is still alive and is kidnapping hunters, so go on a rescue mission. During the hunt, Sam is overpowered by three demons and Ezekiel takes over, destroying all of the demons and causing Abaddon to flee. Ezekiel stabs all three of the corpses with Ruby's knife, so that he and Dean can maintain the illusion that there aren't any angels involved. When Sam wakes up, Dean tells his brother that he was the one who defeated all the demons. Later on, Sam recovers at the bunker and reveals to a guilty Dean that he feels a lot better about his life now than he has in a long time.
In I'm No Angel, Ezekiel takes over Sam halfway through a conversation to reveal to Dean that angels are chasing Castiel. Sam and Dean try to reach Castiel before the angels can get their hands on him, but run into a dead end. Worried for Castiel's safety, Dean asks Ezekiel to locate him, and they manage to find him just as a rogue reaper stabs him through the chest. Dean kills the reaper, and Ezekiel uses his powers to bring Castiel back to life. Sam and Dean bring Castiel back to the bunker with them. Sam begins to question things, but Dean comes up with an excuse to pacify his brother's curiosity. Ezekiel takes over and admits that he can't stay in the same place as Castiel since he's a target for dangerous angels. He tells Dean that if he doesn't kick Castiel out of the bunker, he'll have to leave and Sam will die. Dean is forced to send Castiel away in order to save his brother's life.
Dean continues to hide Ezekiel's presence from Sam, coming up with cover stories to explain away the discrepancies that Sam is starting to notice more and more. Ezekiel also heals Sam a number of times, saving his life from fatal injuries and healing Dean's friends whenever they are in danger. But after every use of his power, he tells Dean that each time means longer that he'll have to stay inside of Sam to recharge.
In Heaven Can't Wait, Sam works with Dean and Kevin on figuring out how to send the angels back to Heaven. Dean is called away by Castiel for a case so Sam reluctantly stays behind to help Kevin research. After finding nothing, Sam decides to ask Crowley if he can translate the ancient language of the spell Metatron used. Crowley refuses until he's allowed to get a "call" to Abaddon. Crowley reveals the Heaven spell is irreversible, leaving Earth plagued with dangerous and confused angels.
In Rock and a Hard Place, Sam is shown to be constantly tired and admits to Dean he feels he can't recharge his batteries. In a fight against Vesta, she tells Sam that his organs are completely burned and that he's nothing but "duct tape and safety pins inside." Sam is worried by his and confides in Dean, telling him he's feels like something's wrong with him. Dean tries to pass the symptoms of Ezekiel's presence off as a lingering effect of the trials, but Sam admits that he thinks something is just wrong with him and that he'll never be normal. Dean can't stand Sam thinking about himself that way, so he decides to tell him the truth. But Ezekiel takes over and warns Dean to not even try. Dean instead tells Sam's it's not him and to not worry. Sam begins to realize Dean's lying to him.
|“||What if there's something wrong with me? Something really wrong? [...] Why does it have to be something else? It's always something else. We're always scraping to find some other explanation when maybe ... it is just me. [...] I'm a mess, Dean. You know it. And sometimes I feel like maybe I'm never gonna actually be alright.||”|
— Sam's fears
in Rock and a Hard Place
In Holy Terror, Sam and Dean go on a case to investigate multiple angel slaughters. They meet Castiel, who is attempting to help his angel brethren, even as a human. After this encounter, Ezekiel takes over and reminds Dean that he can't be near Castiel, so Dean sends Castiel away again. Ezekiel walks outside and runs into Metatron, who reveals that he knows that "Ezekiel" is actually Gadreel, the angel who let Lucifer into the Garden of Eden, and was locked up for thousands of years. Metatron offers him a role in the rebuilding of Heaven and Gadreel is so desperate to clear his name that he accepts, so Metatron gives him a piece of paper with an assassination target for him to take care of. Meanwhile, Dean starts to worry that "Ezekiel" hasn't been telling him the truth. He and Kevin plan a spell that can knock the angel out of control so he can talk to Sam, but Gadreel overhears the conversation and changes the symbol, tricking Dean into believing he's Sam and knocking him out. Gadreel kills Kevin (the assassination target) and steals Sam's body, leaving Dean crying over Kevin's corpse.In Road Trip, Sam in a fantasy world inside his own head by Gadreel, where he believes he is working on cases with Dean. Dean, Castiel and Crowley capture Gadreel and attempt to separate his mind from Sam's so that Sam can expel the rogue angel, but fail, so Crowley possesses Sam and explains the situation. Sam remembers everything during Gadreel's possession---including Kevin's death--- fights Gadreel until expelling the angel from his body. Castiel heals some of the effects from the trials that Gadreel wasn't able to and promises to stay and keep healing Sam until he's better. Sam is furious at Dean's deception over the last few months and stricken with guilt over Kevin's death. When Dean decides to leave, Sam lets him.
|“|| Sam: "You lied to me. Again. [...] I was ready to die, Dean!"|
Dean: "I know, but I wouldn't let you. Because that's not in me."
Sam: "So, what? You decide to trick me into being possessed by some psycho angel? [...] I was willing to die, Dean. And now ... Kevin ...!"
Dean: "No. That is not on you. Kevin's blood is on my hands, and that ain't ever getting clean. I'll burn for that. I will. But I'll find Gadreel and I'll end that son of a bitch. But I'll do it alone. [...] I won't drag anyone through the muck with me. Not anymore."
Sam: "Go. I'm not gonna stop you."
— A furious Sam parts ways with Dean
in Road Trip
While Dean is off on his own in First Born, Castiel discovers that Sam still has some of Gadreel's grace within him, and they try to use it to locate the angel. And even though Sam is willing to sacrifice himself for it to work, Castiel is not and he completely heals Sam, telling him that he wouldn't want to lose him and eliminating the last of the grace.
In Sharp Teeth, Sam and Dean reunite on a case while looking for Garth. And although the brothers work the job together, Sam tells Dean that he's still angry and that they obviously aren't on the same page anymore. He says that they can't be brothers anymore, only hunting partners. In The Purge, after Dean refuses to apologize, Sam tells him that he wouldn't have done the same thing if their situations were reversed.
In Captives, Kevin's spirit is revealed to be haunting the bunker and can't move on due to the after-affect of Metatron shutting down Heaven. He asks the brothers to locate his mother, still kidnapped by Crowley. After saving Mrs. Tran and filling her in on Kevin's death, she decides to take his spirit with her until he can move on. Sam and Dean make peace with Kevin and vow to find a way to send him to Heaven. Kevin encourages the brothers to get over the issues between them, but Sam is still unwilling to forgive.
In Blade Runners, Sam, Dean and Crowley team up to locate The First Blade, the only weapon that can kill Abaddon. Working together, they locate former Man of Letters Cuthbert Sinclair who has the Blade. Revealing themselves to be Henry Winchester's grandsons, Sam and Dean are able to get into Cuthbert, aka Magnus's lair. However, when Magnus learns that Dean possesses the Mark of Cain, he teleports Sam outside as he plans to add Dean to his collection. With Crowley's help, Sam gets back inside, but is captured by Magnus who plans to torture Sam to make Dean willing to do what he wants. Crowley frees Dean who decapitates Magnus with the First Blade and Sam has to talk him out of the uncontrollable rage he experiences as a result. In the aftermath, Sam suggests killing Crowley now that they have what they want, but Crowley steals the Blade from them, only intending to give it back once they've found Abaddon.
In Mother's Little Helper, Sam is forced to take a case by himself because Dean insists that he's too focused on finding Abaddon. Sam travels to Milton, Illinois where normally good people suddenly become violent murderers. Sam stops one of the murders and finds out that the affected people are similar to what happened to him when he was soulless. Hearing Julia Wilkinson, an ex-nun, mention demons, Sam asks her what happened and learns that Henry and Josie Sands (Abaddon's vessel) traveled to the town in 1958 to investigate similar happenings. Julia reveals that Henry and Josie exorcised two of the demons creating soulless soldiers for a demon army. But one was Abaddon who possessed Josie and had the other demon continue her work in secret. Sam travels to the convent and finds the demon and the victims' souls captured in jars. Sam uses a recorded exorcism to distract the demon, then kills her and releases the souls back to their owners. After thanking Julia for her help, Sam returns to the bunker and tells Dean what he learned.
Sam and Dean finally manage to capture Gadreel in Meta Fiction, but Sam chooses to return him to Metatron to trade for Castiel's life. They plan on trapping Metatron at the exchange, but Metatron reveals that he's been using the angel tablet to charge himself up, and now he has powers equal to God.
The Winchesters help Castiel with an interrogation in King of the Damned and learn that Metatron has a secret door to Heaven. Crowley calls them with Abaddon's whereabouts, so they travel to his location in order to kill her. Dean tells Sam that Crowley warned him about some demons in the basement of the hotel, so Sam goes down to check. But when the room is empty, Sam realizes that Dean lied to him in order to get him out of the way. He arrives just in time to see Dean kill Abaddon with the First Blade, but he won't stop brutalizing the corpse and Sam struggles to get Dean to finally drop the blade. They spare Crowley's life and tell him to return his son (that Abaddon plucked out of the time stream as a bargaining chip) to his proper time, but Crowley refuses and disappears. On the drive home, Sam tells Dean that he's concerned about his worrisome attachment to the blade and asks that they get rid of it now that they don't need it anymore. Dean refuses.
|“|| Sam: "Look ... I'm glad it worked out, okay? I am. And I'm glad the Blade gives you calm or whatever, but Dean, I gotta say ... I'm starting to think the Blade is doing something else too [...] Like something to you. Look, I'm thinking until we know for sure that we're gonna kill off Crowley, why don't we store the blade somewhere distant. Lock it up somewhere safe? Okay?"|
Dean: " ... No."
— Sam's concerns on the Blade
in King of the Damned
In Stairway to Heaven, Sam continues to worry about Dean's growing dependence on the First Blade. He asks Dean to leave it at the bunker while they go to help Castiel, and his brother agrees. They find that some of Castiel's angel followers are attacking others in suicide bombings. Dean stays behind to interrogate the group while Sam and Castiel search for Metatron's doorway to Heaven. They find a warehouse full of traps, but once they get past them, the whole thing turns out to be a fake. Sam and Castiel return to find that Dean lied about keeping the blade, and that he's killed Tessa the reaper with it. Castiel's army ask him to kill Dean for his crimes, but Castiel refuses and the rest of his angels leave. Sam tries to bring up the blade again, but Dean tells him that he's the only one who can kill Metatron and that Sam doesn't have a say in anything they do until that's done. Gadreel shows up at the bunker, telling the three of them that he's defecting from Metatron's side after finding out that he secretly orchestrated all of the angel bombings. He asks for their forgiveness, but Dean attacks him with the First Blade.
In the season finale, Do You Believe In Miracles?, Sam and Castiel try to restrain Dean from killing Gadreel and manage to lock him up in the bunker's dungeon. They find Gadreel and (after some reluctance on Sam's part) all decide that Dean is their best bet at defeating Metatron. They return to the bunker to find that Dean has escaped, and while Castiel and Gadreel try to sneak into Heaven, Sam goes after his brother. He finds Dean working with Crowley and tells him that they have to do this together, Dean agrees and they go after Metatron. Dean starts to apologize about letting Gadreel possess Sam and Sam forgives him, then Dean knocks Sam out, telling him that it isn't his fight. Sam wakes up and goes after Dean, but arrives too late to stop Metatron from stabbing him through the heart. Metatron teleports back to Heaven and Sam tells Dean that he lied about being okay with killing Metatron no matter the consequences. Dean dies in his arms and he cries over his brother's body. He takes Dean's corpse back to the bunker and tries to summon Crowley for a demon deal in order to save Dean. Not knowing that Crowley shows up on his own to place the First Blade in Dean's hands. Crowley places the First Blade into the apparently dead Dean's hands, and Dean' eyes open. They are all black, revealing him to have become a demon.
|“|| Sam: "Shut up. Shut up. Just save up all your energy, alright? We'll stop the bleeding. We'll ... we'll get you a doctor or-or I'll find a spell. You're gonna be okay."|
Dean: "Listen to me. It's better this way. The Mark. It's making me into something I don't wanna be. [...] What happened to you being okay with this?"
Sam: "... I lied."
— Sam as Dean is dying
in Do You Believe In Miracles?
|“|| Dean: "Did you ever stop to think that if I wanted to be cured, I wouldn't have bailed."|
Sam: "That was Crowley."
Dean: "It really wasn't."
Sam: "It doesn't matter, alright? Because whatever happened, whatever went down, we will fix it."
Dean: "We will? Because right now I'm doing all I can not to come over there and rip your throat out ... with my teeth. I'm giving you a chance, Sam. You should take it."
Sam: "I'm gonna have to pass."
Dean: "Well, I'm not walking out that door with you. I'm just not. So what are you gonna do? Are you gonna kill me?[...] You don't know what I've done. I might have it coming."
Sam: "Well, I don't care. Because you're my brother and I'm here to take you home."
— Sam reuniting with his demon brother
In Black, Sam is shown to have been desperately searching for Dean for the past 6 weeks, and has a sling on his arm. Sam is torturing a demon to get information on Dean's whereabouts to no success. It's later revealed in Soul Survivor Sam manipulated a jilted man named Lester Morris into making a deal with a crossroads demon to information. He had failed to find any other demons and used his last resort. Sam had never intended for Lester to actually make the deal, but couldn't stop him in time. Afterwards, Sam and Castiel have a conversation over the phone about Dean and Castiel reveals that Sam's shoulder was injured by a demon.
Sam discovers that Dean is a demon through video surveillance of a store. Sam calls a phone left be a demon and reaches Crowley, who tells Sam about what's happened. Sam tries to track Crowley down, only to be kidnapped by Cole Trenton, who is looking for Dean in revenge. Sam tries to warn Cole about Dean and refuses to tell him where his brother is, compelling Cole to decide on torturing him. Cole calls Dean on Sam's phone and threatens his brother's life unless he shows, but Dean says that it's Sam's problem and abandons him.
In Reichenbach, Sam is being tortured by Cole, but manages to escape. Sam is told by Crowley where Dean is and tracks his brother down. Once he finds Dean, Sam tries to reason with him, but Demon Dean just mocks and threatens him. Sam says he doesn't care what Dean has done, and is determined to turn his brother back to normal. Afterwards, Cole throws a smoke bomb in the bar, knocking out Sam as he goes to fight Dean. Once he's conscious, Sam captures Dean with devil's trap handcuffs. Crowley takes away the First Blade and hides it. Sam lets Crowley go, but promises to kill him next time he sees him.
In Soul Survivor, Sam traps Dean and begins the curing ritual. Sam still tries to reason with his brother, but Dean is unaffected, mocking their mission in saving lives and calling Sam a monster just as him if not worse for letting Lester sell his soul. Sam is clearly guilty over the Lester incident, but pushes on in curing his brother. When Dean's body starts to reject the treatment, Sam worries he's killing him and calls Castiel for help.
|“||You don't get to quit. We don't get to quit in this family! This family is all we ever had! [...] This is me pulling your lame ass out of the fire. You're welcome.||”|
— Sam to Dean as he cures him
in Soul Survivor
When the curing ritual is almost complete, Dean is less demon enough to break out of the Devils Trap and tries to kill Sam with a hammer. Sam catches Dean with demon knife to his throat, but is unable to kill him. Castiel appears and detains Dean. Sam completes the rest of the demon-curing ritual and Dean is human again.
In Fan Fiction, the 200th episode of Supernatural, Sam and Dean stumble across an all-girls school that is putting on a musical of the Supernatural books. Sam reveals that he was a theater kid, and it is all very jarring for the boys, but in the end, Sam kills the goddess behind the kidnappings. In the episode, the lead girl that plays Sam, hands Dean a makeshift Samulet, which Dean later hangs on the mirror of the Impala, after telling her 'I don't need a symbol to remind me how I feel about my brother'. The episode ends with the boys driving off into the sunset in the Impala.
In Hibbing 911, Jody Mills calls Sam to tell the boys she found a case. Sam and Dean go to meet her and help with her on the case of werewolves. Sam and Jody are shown to have a close relationship in the episode, and 'passing notes during class'. Sam confided in her about Dean becoming a demon. In the end, Dean tells Sam that killing the werewolves made him feel like himself again. The boys also cross paths with Sheriff Donna Hanscum.
In The Things We Left Behind, Sam and Dean go help Castiel reach out to Claire Novak. At a scene at a bar, Sam and Dean talk about their father John Winchester and how he raised them right. The boys tell Castiel that it wasn't always easy, but they loved their father. At the end of the episode, Dean gives in to the Mark and slaughters many people in a room which Sam then comes in to discover. Sam holds Dean's face and begs him to tell him that he had to do it, very concerned for him.
In The Hunter Games, Sam and Castiel work desperately to find a way to remove the Mark from Dean. Castiel takes Metatron out of prison briefly for the brothers to use him for information. Metatron tells him the blade is needed. Sam distrusts him and disagrees with Dean's recklessness to get the blade, but knows they're out of options. They enlist Crowley who takes the blade out of hiding, but naturally refuses to give it to them until needed. Sam and Castiel run in on Dean torturing Metatron for more information and stop him from killing him. Dean is disturbed by how easily he almost killed again, but Sam tells him he'll just have the fight the Mark's power harder the way Cain did.
|“||Cain still has the mark, right? And he lived with it. For years, he's lived with it. So yeah, the mark is strong, but Dean ... maybe there's a part of you that wants to give him. And maybe you have to fight that, y'know? Maybe ... part of that powerful force has to be you.||”|
— Sam encouraging his brother to fight
in The Hunter Games
Sam does his best to find a cure for the Mark of Cain and his supports Dean through his turmoil. By Halt & Catch Fire, Sam is hopeful that they can find a cure in Cain when Castiel is close to finding him. After saving college students from a vengeful spirit, Dean has given up on finding a cure from the Mark and can't live anymore with false hope. Sam protests, determined there is a cure, but Dean has made up his mind. He'll fight off the Mark of Cain as much as can until the day he can't and he wants Sam to stop looking.
Despite his brother's wishes, Sam continues to look for cures for the Mark of Cain. In Inside Man, Sam lies to Dean and goes with Castiel to get Metatron back, hoping to get more answers about the Mark. They contact Bobby's spirit in Heaven to be a decoy while Castiel gets Metatron out. Back on Earth, Castiel removes Metatron's grace, making him human, and Sam shoots him in the leg. They find out Metatron lied and never really know how to remove the Mark. Castiel keeps him alive so he can find his original grace.
When he gets back to the bunker, Sam doesn't tell Dean what happened. He's given a letter by Bobby from Castiel. In the letter, Bobby warns Sam to be careful of consequences while removing the Mark and to not keep lying to Dean. Sam doesn't seem to know what to do.
In Book of the Damned, Charlie comes to him and Dean with the Book of the Damned while being on the run from the Stynes family. It can break any curse and could get rid of Dean's mark. It's a dark magic book, but Sam doesn't care and works unsuccessfully with Charlie to translate it. Sam talks to her about hunting and admits he embraces it now, but can't do it without Dean. Aware of the dangers of the book, Dean orders them not to use it. Dean instructs Sam to burn it as the Stynes attack them. Sam instead burns a different book and lies to Dean. Sam, guilty but desperate to save his brother, conspires with Rowena in secret to translate the book.
|“||When Dean came to get me at school, I told myself ... one last job, y'know? One more job. And then when--when ... I lost Jess, I again told myself one more job. There's always one more job, y'know? And one more job and one more job, and I was going to go back to law and--and my life. [...] I guess I really understand now that ... this is my life. I love it. But I can't do it without my brother. I don't want to do it without my brother.||”|
— Sam to Charlie about hunting
in Book of the Damned
In The Werther Project, Rowena agrees to help Sam translate the book as long as he helps her kill Crowley. Sam agrees. She gives him information about a codex from the Grand Coven that will help him translate the Book of the Damned. Sam goes to the address alone, only for Dean to follow. Sam manages to explain the backstory of the Werther Box without raising suspicion from Dean. Sam opens the book, triggering the people around to resort to suicide. This is done to Sam through his guilt using the book and then again by using his blood to stop the box's work. Sam nearly kills himself, but Dean uses his own blood to shut it down and saves him. Dean has the Werther Box destroyed, but Sam is still lying to his brother.
In Dark Dynasty, Sam enlists in the help of Castiel and Charlie as Rowena tries to translate the book. Both his friends are reluctant to lie to Dean, but agree to help save him. At the same time, Sam works with Dean on a case involving the Stynes and manage to capture one. The Styne escapes and targets Charlie, who is decrypting notes on the Book of the Damned in a motel. Dean finds out and is furious at Sam for lying to him and putting Charlie in danger. Sam and Dean rush to her rescue, but arrive to see Charlie dead.
In The Prisoner, Sam is guilt-ridden by Charlie's death and his part in it. Dean blames him completely and separates from him to go track down the Stynes in revenge. Sam decides to stop his work with the Book of the Damned, but receives an email from Charlie on how to translate the book, which she sent seconds before she died. Under his bargain with Rowena, Sam tries to kill Crowley, but fails and by default reminds Crowley of his evilness. Sam hears from Castiel the massacre Dean left behind at the Styne's base and is horrified his brother is too far gone.
In Brother's Keeper, Sam and Castiel have lost track of Dean who doesn’t want to be found. Castiel worries about the consequences of having Rowena remove the Mark of Cain using the Book of the Damned, but Sam points out that they don’t know what those consequences are and there’s no alternative. Sam and Castiel visit Rowena to threaten her with death to do the spell to remove the Mark of Cain. Rowena stands defiant, knowing she is the only one that can perform the spell, and only agrees to perform under the condition that she gains her freedom and as well as Nadya's Codex.
Rowena tells Sam and Castiel about the three ingredients for the spell: the forbidden fruit, the golden calf, and a sacrifice of something that the spellcaster loves.Sam gets a phone call from Rudy, who tells him where Dean is and that ”he’s not playing well with others.” Sam leaves, asking Castiel to make sure the spell happens.
Sam arrives at the cabin and finds out what happened, then he finds Dean’s motel room, Impala parked outside. Dean is gone, but he left his car keys and a note saying ”She’s all yours.” Dean asks Death to kill him because he can’t fight the Mark. Death says he won’t kill Dean, as it is impossible even for him.Dean refuses, so Death offers to relocate Dean with the Mark far away from Earth where he will no longer be a danger. Dean calls Sam and tells him he’s done, and to come to him so he can say his goodbyes.
Sam arrives at the bar to find Dean and Death tells Sam he believes Sam will never rest until Dean is free of the Mark, and so he has to die for the greater good. Dean tells Sam that the world would be better without them in it, that they’re followed by evil. Sam objects that they’re not evil. Dean says he let Rudy die and Sam drove a man to sell his soul and bullied Charlie into getting herself killed. Sam argues that Dean is not an evil man, he’s a good man trying to find a solution by summoning Death and calling Sam. But Dean won’t budge. Sam punches him and they have a vicious fist fight which ends with Sam on the floor. Sam tells Dean that he, the real Dean, is nothing but good – but he’s right. Dean has to be stopped at all costs before he hurts anyone else. Looking up at Dean from where he’s kneeling on the floor, Sam says ”Do it.” Death hands his scythe to Dean. Sam shows Dean a couple of pictures that he brought – of Mary Winchester, Sam and Dean as children – as a guide to remind Dean, some day, what it was to be good and what it was like to love. Dean asks Sam to forgive him, then swings the scythe over his head and stabs Death, who crumbles into dust as Dean looks on in shock.
Rowena, showing unusual emotion, hugs Oskar and then stabs him in the neck with a pen. She collects his blood and completes the spell. Lightning strikes Dean’s arm and removes the Mark of Cain. As Sam and Dean leave the restaurant, lightning strikes the ground in multiple places throughout the nearby field. In each place, black, roiling smoke erupts from holes in the earth and forms a cloud that grows to obliterate the sky. Sam and Dean get into the Impala and try to drive away, but hit a pothole. The car and everything around them are engulfed by the cloud of smoke.
In Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire, Sam is knocked out by Amara washing over the Impala and wakes up to find Dean gone. To Sam's shock, he finds Dean a mile away in a field. Dean tells Sam that the Darkness saved him and has now taken the form of a woman. Leaving the area, they find a group of dead road workers and a live one who is now a monster Sam calls a Rabid. Having been infected by the Darkness, the man attacks them before being killed by Deputy Jenna Nickerson. Learning that the town of Superior, Nebraska has been infected by the Rabids, Sam debates with Dean about killing the people, letting them die when they burn out or searching for a cure.
Eventually Sam has Dean bring Jenna and the baby Amara to safety, but stays behind to lure the Rabids away and to find a cure. Hiding in a closet, Sam fights an infected nurse and kills her, but gets splashed in the face by her blood. The Rabids break into the closet, but sensing that Sam is infected, leave him alone. Sam later looks in the mirror and realizes he is infected though he keeps this from Dean when he calls, stating simply that he will keep searching for a cure.
In Form and Void, Sam creates a makeshift cattle prod and captures a Rabid who can still talk. Sam questions the man about the infection and begins his search for a cure with little luck. The Rabid eventually dies and Sam follows the sound of someone singing O Death to find a young woman who recognizes him. The woman, Billie, reveals herself to be a Reaper and tells Sam that she intends to toss Sam and Dean into The Empty when they die so that they can't ever come back. Billie informs Sam that he is "unclean in a biblical sense" and will die soon before leaving. Sam continues his search with no luck and eventually goes to pray to God for guidance. Sam receives no response, but moments later gets a vision of himself being tortured that he doesn't understand. Near to being consumed by the infection, Sam remembers Billie telling him that he is "unclean in a biblical sense" and does a search for purifications from the Bible. Finding a reference to fire and holy oil, Sam uses a sponge doused in holy fire on himself and it cures him. Having found a cure, Sam uses music to lure a group of Rabid's into the hospital chapel where he traps them in a circle of holy fire.
The holy fire cures the Rabid's and the group sets out to cure the surviving people in the town. Returning to the bunker afterwards, Sam is stunned to hear that the Darkness is actually a little girl and that Dean's encounter with the Darkness in the form of a woman was apparently a vision. Following a groaning, the two find Castiel begging for help.
For the following weeks during minor cases, Sam continues to have visions, from whom he presumes is God, though Dean is reluctant to even talk about it.
In Our Little World, Sam and Dean infiltrate Crowley's lair in order to kill Amara. While Dean bursts into Amara's room, Sam fends off the coming demons. He gets into a difficult fight with two, but manages to defeat them both. He then goes to Amara's room but finds the door locked, so he knocks and calls for Dean. Suddenly, he is plagued by memories and visions of the Cage, and falls to his knees.
He and Dean later regroup at the Bunker and discover from Castiel that Amara is in fact God's sister. Sam questions Dean as to why he couldn't kill Amara, but Dean brushes it off implying it was beyond his capability. Sam walks away, and has a clear vision of the outside view of the Cage, which worries him.
In Just My Imagination, Sam is reunited with his childhood imaginary friend Sully, who has come to Sam and Dean for help in solving the killings of fellow Zanna. As they investigate the deaths, Sam learns that Sully was left very upset when Sam abandoned him as a child. Sam later apologizes, and tells Sully about The Darkness. Sam and Sully get lured to a warehouse through a text sent from Dean's cellphone. The culprit is revealed to be Reese, a woman who lost her sister thanks to Sully. Sam and Dean manage to talk Reese into letting go of her past and start over.
In O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Sam is convinced he must seek out Lucifer since he believes it to be God's wish. Despite Dean's dislike in the idea, the brothers seek out Crowley for help. Crowley has Rowena captured so she can find a means to have Sam and Lucifer talk without Sam being in the line of danger. With the Book of the Damned and Nadia's Codex, Rowena figures out a way to cast a spell that will summon Lucifer in Hell without opening the Cage. Sam, Crowley and Rowena travel to the deepest part of Hell, where they intend to meet Lucifer. After the Devil appears, stuck inside a cage with holy fire surrounding him, Sam approaches him and tells him about the Darkness and that God wants Sam to seek out Lucifer's help.
Lucifer agrees to help on the grounds that Sam becomes his vessel. Sam however, rejects this idea, and hopes there to be another way. Just then, the wards holding Lucifer as well as the holy fire are extinguished. Sam soon finds himself stuck inside the cage with Lucifer. He initially doesn't express fear, but when Lucifer reveals his visions were from Lucifer and not God, Sam shows horror.
Sam tells Lucifer that he still won't say "yes" even under torture, going so far as to suggest he try and torture him like before. Lucifer refuses and instead takes Sam through three separate memories, with the hope that Sam will realize how weak he's become and how much he needs Lucifer to win.
Lucifer first takes Sam to a time in his teenage years, where he's studying with a girlfriend and proving himself heroic and smart to her. The second memory they go to is Stull Cemetery. Sam watches himself jump into the Cage with Michael in tow, and listens to Lucifer openly admire his bravery at the time. The third memory is from the time he was with Amelia.
Once they're back in the cage, Lucifer reveals to Sam that the other four participants in the war against The Darkness are useless or absent, and therefore Lucifer is Sam's only hope. Sam bravely and determinedly tells the archangel that he would rather watch everyone he loves die than to become his "bitch". Lucifer reacts by attacking him. Dean and Castiel arrive after hearing the commotion and are promptly teleported into the cage by Lucifer. Despite their combined efforts, the three are unable to defeat Lucifer. Dean promises they only have to last a few minutes. When a bright white light engulfs the archangel, both Sam and Dean presume Lucifer has been sent back to his Cage.
A few days later, Sam and Dean get a case involving a banshee. Sam also gets attacked by a woman who takes him for the banshee. Through his ability to use sign language, Sam is able to communicate with this woman, and finds out that she is a legacy, like himself. With her help, Sam and Dean prepare a trap for the banshee, intending to use Mildred Baker as bait, but the banshee instead attacks Dean. Eileen is able to kill the banshee before it kills Dean. Sam is left wondering why the creature chose Dean, when it only attacks people it deems vulnerable. At the Bunker, Sam reveals that his time with Lucifer reminded him of his mistake, that he shouldn't have left Dean in Purgatory without searching for him. Dean says he forgave him a long time ago, and Sam accepts.
In Don't You Forget About Me, Sam and Dean get a call from Claire Novak asking for their help. She reveals that she has been hunting monsters, but Jody, who she is currently living with, brushes her off, saying Claire is only causing trouble. Sam tries to tell Claire to be nicer to Jody, since she is giving Claire everything she needs. Sam and Dean later save Claire, Jody and Alex from a pair of vengeful vampires, thus proving Claire's innocence.In Love Hurts, Sam and Dean investigate the mysterious death of a babysitter. When a victim's wife provides them with a spell a witch gave her, Sam discovers it was a curse, passed on through a kiss. Dean decides to take the curse upon himself, causing him to get attacked by a qareen. Meanwhile, Sam confronts the witch responsible. When Melissa distracts the witch, Sam shoots her twice, killing her. He then stabs the qareen's heart, killing it and saving Dean. Back at their motel room, Dean confesses to Sam about his attraction towards Amara, and his inability to withstand it. Sam reasons that it isn't Dean's fault and that he doesn't blame his brother for it. In The Vessel, Sam researches information on how to defeat The Darkness. He comes across information about a Hand of God. Dean offers to travel back in time with Castiel to retrieve this weapon. While Sam waits in the Bunker, Castiel returns soaked in sea water after having failed to enter the submarine, which contains a warding against angels. Sam looks up a way to break the warding so Castiel can rescue Dean, but the spell needed requires the power of an archangel. Sam offers his soul as a power boost since he believes Castiel is not strong enough, but the angel starts laughing and agrees to do it anyway, since Sam asked him nicely. Realization dawns on Sam that it is in fact Lucifer he is with.
The archangel proceeds with penetrating Sam's chest to use his soul and kill Sam in the process, but Castiel intervenes by taking back control of his body. Sam demands the angel to eject Lucifer but is informed that Castiel can neither get rid of Lucifer or travel back in time. They agree that Lucifer is their only hope in saving Dean. When Lucifer successfully retrieves Dean, Sam alerts him that the angel isn't Castiel. Lucifer flings Dean across the table and takes the Hand of God, but discovers its power has been depleted. Before Lucifer can assault Dean over the loss, Sam draws a banishing sigil from his own blood and sends Lucifer away. Sam and Dean later agree with a plan to rescue Castiel.
At Dean's insistence, Sam and Dean go see a boxing match a week later where Sam also meets his first crush, Rio. The brothers later discover that Gunner Lawless is working with a crossroads demon. Dean manages to convince the boxer to do the right thing and the brothers are saved from death by him. Two weeks after, Sam and Dean get involved in a case Bobby dealt with years before. A case involving werewolves ends with Sam getting shot in the chest. He manages to survive, but while Dean is absent, one of the two victims they saved decides to suffocate Sam. He presumably dies, driving Dean to contact the reaper Billie. Sam recovers shortly after and tracks down the man responsible and kills him. Dean in turn is greatly relieved to find his brother alive.When Dean gets a call to meet up with Crowley, Sam joins him to the location, where they discover that Crowley has hidden a Hand of God and wants their help in ganking Lucifer, but Dean is determined to save Castiel first. With Rowena's assistance, the trio agree to summon Lucifer into a trap and try to expel him from their friend's vessel. Their plan fails, however, and Lucifer comes very close to suffocating the brothers. Amara arrives just in time and releases Sam and Dean from Lucifer's clutches. She then takes her nephew away. Afterwards, Sam and Dean go back to dealing with regular cases until they can find one that links to Amara. They run into a pair of hunters dealing with a bisaan, and manage to help them defeat the creature.Sometime after that, Sam manages to find a case that reminds both him and Dean all too well of the Darkness. They arrive at a small town to find people infected with a new kind of rabid's. Soon after their arrival, a giant fog overcomes the town, further infecting civilians and forcing the survivors, plus Sam and Dean, to run off and barricade themselves inside the police station, but their defenses fail to withhold the fog. Sam gets infected while Dean is immune, and though Sam urges his brother to run, Dean promises to stay behind no matter what. When all seems lost, the amulet Dean threw away begins glowing inside Sam's pocket, and suddenly, the fog vanishes, the infected are cured, and the dead are resurrected. The brothers use the amulet to search for God, for its bright light tells of his presence. They soon find Chuck Shurley in the middle of the road, helping one of the victims to her feet, and to their surprise, the amulet glows intensely bright in Chuck's presence—Chuck reveals himself to be God.
God teleports them back to the Bunker where Sam and Dean meet Kevin for the first time in a long while. Kevin tells them to trust in God and to not be worried. God then sends Kevin's spirit to Heaven, thus proving his identity. Sam and Dean take some time to let the news sink in, though Sam is rather enthusiastic about meeting God, whom he prayed to on countless occasions. However, when Sam and Dean bring up the topic about Lucifer (and Castiel) being trapped by Amara, they are brushed off and do not receive help.
They meet up with the new prophet, Donatello, who is the only survivor of another town hit by Amara's fog. They decide to take him back to their home. The brothers then receive a call from Metatron asking to meet with them. It is from the former Scribe that Sam and Dean realize God's true plan - to sacrifice himself. With Donatello and Metatron at their side, the brothers organize a plan to retrieve Lucifer. While Dean distracts Amara, Sam takes the Impala and drives to the location, the address provided by Donatello. Once there, Metatron works to remove the bindings while Sam tells Lucifer to work with them or else remain there. Lucifer easily complies and once released, Sam demands Lucifer to teleport them away, only to realize Lucifer can't.
To buy them some time to drive away, Metatron stays behind as Sam carries Lucifer to the Impala. They are unfortunately encountered by Amara on the road a few miles away, and she intends to destroy all three of them. Before she can, God teleports the Impala to the inside of the Bunker. Now safe, Sam and Dean bid Donatello farewell and go buy groceries. They return to the Bunker to find Lucifer and God arguing, and when God does not tell Lucifer what he wants to hear, Lucifer locks himself in Sam's room and refuses to come out. The brothers plead to God to apologize since they have no time for arguments. They manage to get the two to talk, and God and Lucifer eventually reconcile.
The four plan for an attack, and agree to use witches, demons and angels as substitutes for the absent archangels. Sam goes to see Rowena and recruits her, along with Clea and a few other witches. Privately, Sam agrees with God to bear the Mark of Cain, since Dean has already been tainted. Sam gathers with everyone inside a warehouse, where they wait for the attacks to begin. The witches, angels and demons attack Amara in succession, and Amara stumbles in badly injured and further hurt by Lucifer's Spear. Although Dean is unhappy with Sam's decision, God begins transferring the Mark to Sam's arm. Unfortunately, Amara refuses to be imprisoned again and attacks both Lucifer and God. God is left dying on the floor. Once Amara has left, Sam goes to pick him up and carries him outside.
Alongside Rowena, Crowley and Castiel, Sam witnesses the change in the sun, and realize the end is near, but unlike the rest of the gang, Sam refuses to give up, and together they manage to come up with the idea of using a Soul Bomb. Sam and Dean go to Waverly Hills Sanatorium to gather some ghosts, but the number proves not enough to harm Amara. Billie, having witnessed their actions, agrees to help and provides them with many more souls from the Veil. Dean is transformed into the bomb, for only he can get close enough to Amara. The gang arrive at Mary's tombstone where the brothers bid her farewell and to each other. As Dean leaves on his mission, Sam and the rest gather at an empty bar to wait for the results. God suddenly disappears on them, and shortly after, the sun is restored. They all believe Dean is dead, and thus go their separate ways.
Sam and Castiel return to the Bunker, where Castiel is hit by an angel banishing sigil by a blonde woman, who confronts Sam on his and Dean's recent actions, claiming they have caused a lot of damage and that she wishes to take them back to her superiors, who belong to a branch of the Men of Letters. Sam tries to get her to put the gun down, but Toni refuses, and shoots Sam.
Toni takes Sam to a doctor and pays him to treat Sam's wound. Afterwards, she ties Sam up in a basement where she and her associate, Ms. Watt, tortures him for information. Sam is able to withstand the pain, and comes very close to escaping by faking his own death. Toni captures him in time and resumes her torturing. When physical pain proves ineffective, Toni decides to use a spell that tricks Sam into thinking he and Toni are lovers. The plan fails, however, since Sam can see through the ruse, forcing Toni to go back to using the original method.
Sam is horrified and shocked when Toni's next course of action is to bring in Dean, his brother whom he thought was dead. Toni attempts to torture Dean in front of Sam to get information, but they are interrupted by Mary Winchester, whom Sam is also surprised to see. Mother and son manage to subdue Toni, right before an associate of Toni, Mick Davies, arrives to take Toni away, revealing that Toni had gone too far. Sam returns to the Bunker with Dean, Mary and Castiel. There, he expresses his utmost joy in finally meeting his mother again.
In The Foundry, Sam and Dean take on a case Mary found. The brothers initially believe they are dealing with a Myling, but thanks to Mary, they realize it is a vengeful spirit. Together they manage to defeat Hugo Moriarty and free the children he had murdered and trapped as spirits. Back at the Bunker however, Mary reveals that she is having difficulty coping with the present, having lost 33 years of her life and that she still remembers Sam as the baby he once was. Sam gives her a hug before she leaves, while Dean chooses not to.
In American Nightmare, Sam and Dean investigate a case involving the deaths of two people and the possibility of a vengeful spirit. Dean reveals that Castiel and Crowley are working together in hunting down Lucifer, who has taken possession of rock star Vince Vincente. Sam reveals he actually likes Vince's songs, much to Dean's disgust. While searching for the spirit, Sam finds out after eavesdropping on a conversation between Abraham and Elijah Peterson that the daughter, Magda, is still alive.
The two men capture Sam and show him Madga's powers, believed to be the work of the Devil. Sam reveals to Magda that she is not the Devil, but a psychic. He relates to her through his time as a Special Child, and promises her that she can learn to control her powers and stop hurting people. When Gail decides to murder her entire family, Sam manages to convince Magda to spare her mother and allow the police to take her away. Sam then bids Magda farewell.
In The One You've Been Waiting For, Sam and Dean discover the Thule Society's plan to resurrect Adolf Hitler. Although the brothers fail to stop the ritual, Dean manages to kill the Führer. Meanwhile, Sam tries to comfort the Führer's descendant, Ellie Grant, who was forcibly used in the ritual to bring her ancestor back to life. Unfortunately, she does not believe in his story about freeing The Devil and being his vessel.
In Rock Never Dies, Sam joins Dean, Castiel and Crowley in stopping a concert hosted by Lucifer in Los Angeles. Once they have the location, Sam and Dean try to remove the fans from the bar, and succeed when Dean scares everyone off with gun shots. As the fans run out, Sam fights to keep the door opened while Lucifer tries to close it. Sam wins and he, Dean and Castiel confront Lucifer who is on the stage. Sam questions Lucifer's motive for trying to kill these people when he and God already reconciled. Sam is disturbed to hear that Lucifer does not accept God's apology since God has once again abandoned him. In retaliation, Lucifer has decided to smash up God's already broken toys and force the brothers to watch.
Since Lucifer's vessel is deteriorating, he departs it, leaving Vince Vincente dead. This leaves a bad feeling in Sam, who finds that they have lost the battle and are losing slowly, since people are dead and Lucifer without an actual plan is more dangerous than Lucifer with one.
In LOTUS, Sam, Dean and Castiel track Lucifer to President Jefferson Rooney's location. They discover that Lucifer has conceived a child and Sam considers it the antichrist. They are surprised to receive help from British Man of Letters Arthur Ketch, who came in response to Sam's call for help to Mick Davies, though Sam had hung up before Mick could answer, alerting him that the Winchesters might be in danger. Arthur Ketch offers the brothers a special weapon for expelling angels and demons from their vessels. Sam and Dean decide to use Lucifer's lover as bait and expel him from the president with this device. Crowley brings Rowena and she personally banishes Lucifer back to his Cage. In their final confrontation, Sam orders Lucifer to go to Hell, and is relieved once he has been forcibly sent there.
Sam's happiness is short-lived, however, when the Secret Service discover the brothers towering over the unconscious president. Convinced by Lucifer that they had planned to kill Jefferson, Sam and Dean get arrested and by First Blood, they have been imprisoned at Site 94 for six weeks. Dean makes a deal with Billie to escape by having her kill them temporary. Sam and Dean are successful and manage to outsmart the Secret Service, who are ultimately killed by Arthur Ketch. The brothers are soon reunited with Mary and Castiel, and on their way home Billie confronts them on the road demanding they uphold their end of the deal; one Winchester must go to the Empty.
Before either Dean, Sam or Mary can offers themselves up, Castiel stabs Billie to death and angrily tells the trio to realize how important the Winchesters are to the world, and to him. Sam watches in awe at Castiel's declaration, before resuming their journey home.
In the aftermath, Sam notes that Dean is both angry and worried about Castiel, who had done something very dangerous. Sam doesn't blame nor criticize Castiel for this decision. In Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets, Sam discovers that a flight of angels Castiel once worked with is in danger and are being hunted down by a vengeful woman. Sam and Dean learn from Ishim that Lily had birthed a Nephilim with an angel and it was their flight that executed both the angel and the child. Sam and Dean try to protect Castiel and Ishim, but the woman, Lily Sunder, reveals to the brothers that her daughter May was not a Nephilim, but an ordinary human and that Ishim had committed the murder out of jealousy.
Sam and Dean are convinced by her story and Dean passes it onto Castiel, who is currently tending to Ishim's wounds. Under interrogation, Ishim becomes angry and assaults Dean and Castiel, intent on killing the former whom he views as a weakness to the latter. Nevertheless, Castiel manages to kill Ishim, thus avenging Lily's husband and daughter, and allowing her to move on. Back at the Bunker, Sam learns from Castiel that he is now hesitant to murder Lucifer's child despite the threat the unborn child poses.
In Family Feud, Sam and Dean investigate the deaths of various teachers and realize a ghost connected to an old shipwreck is the cause, they request Rowena's help in tracking down the ship's former captain: Gavin MacLeod. Upon finding Gavin, Sam personally introduces him to Rowena, who is in fact Gavin's grandmother. After Gavin joins their investigation, he informs them that the ghost must be his fiancé, Fiona Duncan. When they learn Fiona is out murdering people because Gavin wasn't there to protect her on board the ship, Sam and Dean agree to send Gavin back to his original timeline, and undo the murders committed by Fiona.
In The Raid, Sam joins the British Men of Letters on their mission to exterminate America's vampires. He is given The Colt, and is told by Mary that she had stolen it from Ramiel's house. Although Sam is horrified by this, he says nothing about his history with The Colt and simply teaches Mick how to make bullets. When the Alpha Vampire raids the British Men of Letters headquarters, it is up to Sam to kill the vampire and save the day. Sam then tells Mick that he is willing to join their crew, and will take time to convince Dean to do the same.
In Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, Sam and Dean deal with a rogue hellhound. Sam stays behind with The Impala and Gwen Hernandez, whose boyfriend had been killed by it. Although Dean is on a hunt with Crowley for the hellhound, it is Sam who fights it, leading The Impala to get damaged. Sam manages to kill Ramsey, but Dean is furious over what happened to his car.
In Ladies Drink Free, Sam and Dean join Claire Novak on a werewolf hunt. Mick Davies decides to join them as well in order to develop field experience. However, Mick ends up killing a teenage girl who was showing signs of transforming. Both brothers are angered by this and do not trust him. They initially suspect a man named Connor is responsible, but when Claire gets kidnapped, they find out that Connor's friend Justin is the werewolf. Thanks to Mick, they are able to locate Justin, save Claire, and cure her of her transformation.
In The British Invasion, Sam and Dean get a lead on Kelly through their friend Eileen Leahy. Sam fakes a British accent and lures Kelly to her former doctor's clinic. Meanwhile, Mick Davies and Renny Rawlings decide to participate. Mick hands Sam The Colt for him to use. Once Dean captures Kelly and brings her to the gang, Sam insists on dealing with the unborn child a nicer way as opposed to killing, which is what Mick and Renny want to do.
Unfortunately for the gang, Kelly's protector Dagon arrives and kidnaps Kelly. Eileen tries to shoot Dagon with The Colt, but ends up killing Renny instead. British Men of Letters protocol lists that whoever kills a fellow operative must be assassinated. It is Sam who convinces Mick not to do this, advising him to not follow the code. Mick complies and orders them to leave. Back at the Bunker, Sam comforts a distraught Eileen. He also hands Dean The Colt, without telling him where he got it from.
In The Memory Remains, Sam receives a case from Mick and takes Dean to check it out. The brothers learn they are dealing with Moloch, a deity and a legacy of the Bishop Family, who has been set loose by Pete Garfinkle, a descendant of the family. Pete manages to capture Dean and prepares to sacrifice Dean to Moloch, but Sam successfully escapes from the basement Pete locked him in, and kills Pete before saving Dean from Moloch using The Colt. Back home, Sam and Dean carve their initials into a wooden table. They also learn from Arthur Ketch that Mick has been sent back to London, so they must talk directly to Ketch.
In The Future, Castiel returns home after a long time in Heaven. After a tense reunion with a very worried Dean, Castiel sneaks back out of the bunker taking The Colt with him. Sam is unhappy to learn that instead of keeping it in a safe, Dean had kept The Colt under his pillow. The brothers hunt Castiel down using GPS and find him at a motel with Kelly Kline. Sam and Dean attempt to take the pair back to the bunker, but Kelly drives off with The Impala, leaving Sam and Dean with Castiel's broken truck. Dean fixes it and drives to the Heavenly Portal, where Sam and Dean are confronted by Dagon. Dagon has the upperhand and prepares to kill Castiel, but the angel overpowers her and proceeds to knock both Sam and Dean out, and leaves them near the Heavenly Portal.
In Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes, Sam and Dean assist Alicia Banes in finding her missing mother, Tasha. They arrive at a hotel and find Tasha alive and well, but Sam realizes that a man they saw earlier has been declared missing and Sam and Dean decide to investigate. Inside a basement, the brothers find three corpses with missing hearts, one of them is Tasha. Max Banes finds out and is horrified. While Dean joins Max in finding the culprit, Sam stays behind with Alicia who is unable to accept that the Tasha she is with is fake. Just then, another copy arrives and beats on Sam. Alicia is able to rescue Sam before the copy kills him, but in her distraction, the fake Tasha stabs her.
Sam is confronted by both copies, but they dissolve before they can do anything. Sam is left to try and comfort Alicia as she slowly dies from the stab wound. By the time Max and Dean return to the room, Alicia is dead. The brothers are forced to leave Max and allow him to choose his own path.
In There's Something About Mary, Sam learns from Jody that up to seven hunters have been killed, one of them is Eileen. Sam and Dean learn that Eileen was killed by a hellhound, but Crowley refuses to admit that a hellhound might have gone rogue. When Sam receives a letter from Eileen, he and Dean discover that their bunker might have been wiretapped. They decide to lure whoever is eavesdropping on them into a trap, and the brothers manage to capture Lady Toni Bevell. On their way to the bunker, they learn from Toni that Mick is actually dead and the British Men of Letters are most likely responsible for the deaths of hunters.
To their discomfort, they also learn that their mother is sexually involved with Arthur Ketch. Once they reach the bunker, Ketch arrives with reinforcements and a fight ensues, with Ketch losing. However, Mary Winchester arrives and sides with Ketch, having been brainwashed into turning against her own sons. Ketch traps the brothers with Toni inside the bunker, while depleting the bunker of oxygen, in hopes of killing the three.
In Who We Are, Sam works with Dean and Toni to break out of the bunker before they die. While Dean advocates killing Toni, Sam reluctantly agrees that they can't as she is their best choice of saving Mary. After a failed attempt at magically ending the lockdown, Sam and Dean spend a day trying to break through a wall into a sewer pipe to get out. Running out of air and having no luck, the two discuss their situation and Sam admits that he followed the British Men of Letters as he preferred following someone else rather than leading. With time running out, Dean blasts a hole through the wall with a grenade launcher and climbs out to hit the manual override outside the bunker, ending the lockdown in time to save everyone's lives.
After escaping the bunker, the Winchesters set out to warn the other hunters of the threat from the British Men of Letters and Sam learns that Jody and Alex have captured Mary. After arriving in Sioux Falls, Toni admits she lied about being able to break Mary's brainwashing and Sam decides to fight back against the British Men of Letters. To this end, Sam calls a meeting of several hunters, including Roy and Walt who had murdered him seven years before. Sam steps up as a leader and rallies the hunters against the British Men of Letters. While Sam takes the hunters after the British Men of Letters, an injured Dean stays behind to take Mary and Toni back to the bunker to save Mary.
Sam leads an assault on the British Men of Letters compound as they are about to launch a massive attack on the American hunters and their families. Sam's team kills all of the British operatives, losing all but Sam, Jody and Roy in the process. The three corner Doctor Hess, the leader of the operation and one of the British Men of Letters Elders in the control room where she has been futilely trying to call for an extraction. Doctor Hess reveals the escape of Lucifer to Sam and insists they still need each other to stop Lucifer and his son. After considering Doctor Hess' offer, Sam refuses and pointedly shoots the computer connecting them to Britain. Doctor Hess is then killed by Jody when she tries to shoot Sam and the hunters blow up the compound, ending the threat of the British Men of Letters in America for good.
Sam returns to the bunker where Dean has broken Mary's brainwashing and both Toni and Ketch are dead. Sam overhears Mary's fears that he will hate her and assures her its not the case. The Winchesters then embrace each other.
In All Along the Watchtower, Sam informs Dean and Mary that Lucifer has escaped and correctly surmises Crowley had something to do with it after recognizing the picture of Lucifer's old vessel. Sam attempts to call Rowena for help locking Lucifer away again, but learns that she has been killed by Lucifer. The three Winchesters start trying to track down biblical omens pointing to the birth of a Nephilim. When Crowley shows up, Sam tells Dean not to kill him as Crowley helped Rowena with the Cage spell and might know something useful. After Crowley explains himself and offers to seal the Gates of Hell after they are done with Lucifer, the Winchesters continue searching and Sam finally finds a massive power blackout traced to a house rented by "Jimmy Novak" which is the name of Castiel's vessel.
At the house, the Winchesters berate Castiel who takes them through a rift in space and time to an apocalyptic alternate reality where they encounter an alternate version of Bobby Singer. The Winchesters realize that this is a world where they were never born as their father was killed by Azazel and never resurrected. As a result, Sam and Dean weren't around to save the world. Returning to their world, the Winchesters and Castiel are approached by Crowley who offers a plan to trap Lucifer in the alternate reality.
After the arrival of Lucifer, Sam and Dean draw him through the rift and Sam joins Crowley in preparing a ritual to seal the rift while Dean distracts Lucifer with Bobby's assault rifle. To everyone's shock, Crowley kills himself to complete the ritual, but the rift takes long enough to close that Lucifer is able to return and kill Castiel. Using Enochian Brass Knuckles, Mary is able to force Lucifer back through the rift, but is trapped on the other side herself moments later when the rift closes.
As Dean grieves over Castiel's death, Sam notices a flash of light in the house and enters to find Kelly dead. Sam respectfully closes Kelly's eyes and follows a trail of footprints into the nursery where he find Lucifer's son fully grown.
During Patience, Sam tries to help Jack in mastering his powers by telling him to move pencil with his mind but the latter struggles and is frustrated that he can't do one good thing. He later learns that Jack was successful in moving the pencil and the latter tells Sam of Dean's promise to kill him if he's evil as Sam promises to ensure that won't happen. When Dean returns, Sam mentions learning of the death of Missouri Moseley and confronts on his treatment to Jack. This results in an argument, where Sam defends Jack and shows that he doesn't put Castiel's death on Jack's hands. Though it is clear, he does miss his friend.
In The Big Empty, Sam and Dean investigate a case where dead people come back and attack their loved ones with Sam suggesting bringing Jack with them. They go undercover as a trio of brothers and meet Mia Vallens, a therapist who helping people overcome the pain of losing a loved one. They tell her that they have issues of their mother, it is here confront the other on their mother's fate and argue about it. Angry, Sam stepped out but found evidence that Mia is a shapeshifter and returns telling Dean about it. They hold her at gunpoint, aware they are hunters she states she has an alibi and ask them to confirm it. Dean quickly goes to do so, leaving Sam with Mia before he returns and confirms it, to Sam's surprise. They soon learn that Mia is honestly trying to help people and it is Mia's former lover Buddy, another shapeshifter who is doing the killing. Sam goes through her surveillance cameras to see which one of her patients is the shifter, due to shifters' eyes flaring on camera. He asks Mia about her sessions and how patients react to which she stated they don't mind as they get out their pain. Sam soon finds the shifter and leaves in Mia's car to pursue them. Sam calls Dean and announces he's coming back as his brother states he'll be waiting. Sam returns unaware that Buddy disguised himself as Dean and tied everyone up and is planning to kill them. Sam is lured upstairs as Buddy readies to shoot him, as Mia tries to stop Buddy but is pushed aside though Jack uses his power to cause the bullet to ricochet into the wall. This saves and allows Sam to shoot Buddy, killing him. Afterwards, Mia apologizes for the trouble she has caused and promised to do something about Buddy.
At the bunker, Dean goes to talk to Sam and apologizes for his behavior while Sam nearly agrees with him about their mother but Dean tells him to maintain for both of them as Sam was surprised by this.
During Advanced Thanatology, Sam is worried for Dean's depression and tries to do things to get him out of it by taking him to his favorite places and getting him food but Dean sees through his acts. Dean sees through it and tells him to stop as they investigate a case involving ghosts. Dean temporarily kills himself to talk to the ghosts, after the time is up Sam tries to bring him back but when Dean doesn't resuscitate and pleads to his brother to wake up. Eventually, Dean awakes and they call the authorities to inform them of the bodies being found. Sam questions Dean on his slow awakening and when Dean tries to avoid the topic, Sam calls him on it as the latter explains. Sam is shocked to learn that Billie was not only resurrected but has become the new Death who brought Dean back because he and Sam have work. Dean then tells Sam that he needs a win after letting a list of people down before they leave the area. On the drive, Sam is sleeping as Dean gets a call and Sam wakes up questioning his brother who is shocked. The brothers drove to a small town where they find Castiel standing by a payphone and are shocked to see him alive again.
During Tombstone, the brothers question how Castiel can be alive as he explains that he was resurrected by the Cosmic Entity. Happy to have him back, Sam hugs him before he asked if Castiel was sent to Heaven but the latter tells them that he was put in The Empty where angels and demons go after death. Sam asks about it as Castiel describes his horrible experience in the void of nothingness. Sam asked if God had a role in his resurrection but is told he has no power there as Sam deduced that Jack had a part in bringing Castiel back.
They return to the bunker, where they show Jack the resurrected Castiel and learned it was Jack's pleading that Castiel returned. Jack pointed out a hunter's case, with Sam being skeptical though he is surprised at Dean happily accepting it.
At a motel in Dodge City, Sam noticed Dean's upbeat nature which he explains is due to getting Cass back, the win that he wanted as Sam is content his brother is moving pass his sadness.
Sam and Jack meet with the mortician Athena Lopez who doesn't know anything regarding the case and sends them off. The two then investigate the cemetery where they discover tunnels through graves and Sam finds remains and sees that it is a supernatural creature. They return to Cass and Dean and showed them the evidence. Cass showed suspicion towards Athena's position and possible connection with the grave robbing's, which Sam agrees with although this was quickly dismissed by Dean since she would have full access to the bodies and would not need to dig them back up. Jack soon gets a video of the stolen truck being driven by an outlaw who Dean recognizes as a dead outlaw and realized its a Ghoul. Jack soon deduced the ghoul's identity as the mortician's boyfriend from a picture he had seen there.
After tracking the Ghoul to a bank which he was robbing, a gunfight breaks out. In an attempt to stop it, Jack unleashes a telekinetic blast that throws the Ghoul and a security guard back. The security guard hits his head on a pole and dies while Dave gets away. Jack is grief-stricken at his accidental casualty as Dean tells Sam and Cass to take him to the bunker as he goes after the ghoul.
On the way back to the bunker, Sam and Cass try to console Jack but the latter angrily tells them to stop.
Once Dean returns to the bunker, he explains he took care of the case and had the ghoul take the fall of the guard's death as Jack has an outburst regarding the dead man and is scared that he will hurt the others saying the they are all he has and he can't hurt them. The group attempt to console him as they all made mistakes like him in the past but Jack can't accept this and decides to leave. They try to stop him but Jack throws them back saying he is sorry and teleports out of the bunker.
In War of the Worlds, Sam and Dean continue their search for Jack to no avail. There are no signs of any Nephilim activity which Dean is skeptical about since Jack could cause a tsunami with a hiccup. Castiel is concerned that this means Jack has been taken to Hell by Asmodeus or to Heaven by the Angels and he has arranged a meeting with another angel to inquire about Jack and tells Sam and Dean they cannot accompany him. Later on, Dean tells Sam he has found a case where witches are being killed and suggests that they work a case as their search for Jack is proving fruitless. While investigating, they find footage of the witch killer who looks like Arthur Ketch which shocks them.
The brothers questioned how he's alive before they are approached by a witch named Daniela who requests their help. They question why they should as she brings up them helping people in need and explains she escaped from the Ketch lookalike and shows them the scars from his torture of her and that he is looking for Rowena MacLeod. Using Daniela as bait, the Winchesters lure Ketch to a witch safe house and knock him out with a dart.
Sam and Dean take him to the bunker where Dean takes delight in beating up Ketch in retaliation for what he did to his mother. The man claims that he is really Arthur Ketch’s twin brother Alexander who fled the British Men of Letters after refusing to complete initiation. He works as a freelance mercenary hunting Supernatural creatures. Dean doesn’t buy it even when Sam brings up documented proof of his claim.
Sam soon allowed Ketch to walk around (albeit in chains), much to Dean's annoyance. Sam is told by Dean that he thinks something happened with Cass and the two leave Ketch but re-chain him up.
They arrive at a bar, where they discover evidence of a fight and wondered what happened to Cass. The two are then attacked by demons until they are saved by Alexander who used a lockpick in his mouth to escape and drove after them on a motorbike in the garage. Dean points a gun at him and states he knows that despite Alexander’s claims he knows that he is really Arthur. Arthur admits his identity and explains that the British Men of Letters captured Rowena a few years ago and discovered the spell she had sewn into herself that revived her. In exchange for her escape, she did the same for Arthur but the spell needs recharging so he is seeking her out. Dean says that Lucifer killed Rowena, something Ketch is skeptical of, and raises his gun. Ketch throws something that causes a burst of light and escapes but not before Dean shoots him in the shoulder.
On the way back, Sam watches as Dean calls Castiel who tells him that he didn't have a signal but he has found a lead on Jack and is following it.
During The Bad Place, Sam and Dean continue to track down Jack before they get an alert from Jody who tells them she has lead in their search by telling them a man named Derek Swan had met Jack but he is dead. This causes them to believe Jack had killed the man, Sam was hesitant to believe it as Dean had to tell him to consider it while stating he liked Jack but he had gotten out of hand before.
The two met Derek's girlfriend who told them that Derek was a Dreamwalkers as Sam spoke to her, Dean found a portrait of a world that resembled the one that Lucifer was sealed in. They come to the conclusion, Jack is trying to link with his father and bring him back to their world. After finding Jack with a girl named Kaia Nieves, they learn that he didn't kill Derek and that he disappeared to master his powers to see other worlds, to prove that he is good. Jack then reveals to the brothers that their mother is still alive, which surprises Dean before Jack shows them the world Mary was trapped in and how she was suffering. Sam was visibly shocked and somewhat relieved to see that his mother was really alive but worried for her well being. They soon learn Kaia is a more powerful Dreamwalker which was why Jack was with her but she refused to help.
On the way, Dean apologized to Sam for doubting his beliefs and they agree to get their mother back no matter what happened. Sam and Dean talk to Jack and apologize for thinking he killed someone as they thought he was looking for Lucifer. When Jack says that he only views them and Castiel as his family, Sam smiles as Dean firmly agrees with this statement and compliments him on finding their mother.
They are then alerted after Jack hears angels talking and reveal they have Kaia. Dean holds one of Kaia's Abductors hostage and watches as Jack refuses to join the angels before a fight breaks out. It ends with Jack saving dean from angel as the latter go resolve to find his mother was so extreme he held a Kaia at gunpoint and was willing to let the angels go extinct when they tried to take Jack.
In Wayward Sisters,
During Breakdown, Sam falls into a depression which Dean notices as Sam states its because they've now lost Jack as well as their mother. They are soon contacted by Donna Hanscum who asks them to help her find her missing niece Wendy Hanscum and they agree to help. While checking out the last place she was seen, they meet FBI agent Terrance Clegg, who was investigating a connection to a serial killer. His presences causes Sam worry as he is real law and the law are still looking for him and Dean but the latter shrugs it off.
As they investigate a series of suspects, they soon get info from Marlon, a clerk at the station Wendy was at and are led to a building where they meet with Clegg who believes he could find the killer there. When the two were alone, Terrance knocked out Sam and brought him to The Harvester' lair. Here, he revealed his true nature to Sam and told his reason for doing all this.
Terrance proceeded with his business by using Sam for the auction, as he knew the monsters would revel in the chance to finish the legendary hunter. Bids for Sam were very high, with the latter being shocked as it ended with an offer of five hundred thousand for his heart. Terrance taunted Sam for hoping Dean would come and prepared to kill him. Fortunately, before all went too late, Dean showed up and killed Terrance with a fatal shot to his heart.
Various & Sundry Villains, Sam is in the bunker when Dean returns stating he is in love this confuses Sam but he gets worried after his brother plans to give her the Black Grimoire. Sam tries to stop him thinking it was a love spell like the one Becky Rosen put on him but Dean knocks him out with a punch and leaves. Sam catches up but Dean is still insisted on giving the book and nearly kills Sam. However, Rowena suddenly reappears to break the love spell cast on Dean by Jamie Plum and they are shocked to see her.
In Devil's Bargain, Sam and Dean are told by Castiel that he was captured by Asmodeus and the latter had his phone to speak to Dean to monitor them. Castiel soon tells them that Lucifer has returned due to that world's Kevin Tran using his grace to open a rift, which surprises Sam since they have an angel tablet. However, Castiel tells them another problem is coming which is Michael who wants to invade and conquer their world. They decide to make a plan before asking about Mary and Castiel reveals she's alive but knows very little of her well-being.
Summoning Donatello Redfield, the group plan to have him read a spell on an angel tablet that could open a rift to the other world so they could locate their mother and Jack before Michael harms them.