Samuel William "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, which got worse with bad experience with a crush on girl.
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 quickly carries his children away from the fire.
Years later, he becomes somewhat emotionally unstable as Sam and Dean spent their childhood moving from town to town while their father hunted the supernatural being that had killed their mother. John trained 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 Daniel 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 demon means you getting yourself killed, then I hope we never find the damn thing.|
Sam: That thing killed Jess. That thing killed Mom.
Dean: You said yourself once, that no matter what we do, they're gone and they're never coming back.
Sam: (shoves him against the wall) DON'T YOU SAY THAT! Not you! Not after all this. Don't you say that.
— 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. There's a quid 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 forbids Bobby from burning Dean's body (a standard hunter's funeral) 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", Sam attacks Dean while thinking him to be a fake but Bobby tells him that he already did this and its really Dean. The brothers hug at being reunited. The girl leaves and is revealed to actually be 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. Later Bobby takes them to Pamela Barnes, a psychic who flirts with them and through a séance conjures a being called "Castiel", the same one who rescued Dean. Sam witnesses Pamela's eyes burning out when she tries to see Castiel's face, despite its warning.
Sam helps Dean and Bobby research about angels after Dean reveals his experience with Castiel and Sam tells Dean to accept angels are real. He later helps in defeating 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, as seen during In The Beginning and it casts 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 is told Castiel warned Dean about this but stands by his choice, believing he could control his darker side and that he was helping people. He later learns his mother and her family were hunters before he reveals he is aware Azazel bled in his mouth to give him his powers. 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 and being forced to kill him, Sam sees Dean was right and decides to stop using his powers.
At the motel, they find two men who Sam points a gun at before Dean explains who they are and Sam finally meets the angel Castiel as well as Uriel. He excitedly speaks to Castiel and shakes his hand, as the latter states he's happy to Sam stopped his activities. Sam becomes disillusioned 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.
Afterwards, Sam is met by Uriel who confronts him on his power usage and is told if he keeps it up he dies. Sam is also told that Dean does remember his time in Hell.
In Wishful Thinking, Sam confronts Dean on what Uriel told him and reveals he noticed Dean having nightmares and asks about his memories of Hell, but Dean denies that he recalls any of it. They travel to a town where people's wishes come true, Sam voiced a desire to kill Lilith and doesn't partake in wishing like Dean did and got sick. The two realized a person threw a cursed coin, which activated the well. They confront the man and show the bad effects of wishing.
Sam tries to convince him to pull the coin out but is struck by lightning from a wish by the latter's girlfriend. He is revived after when the man felt guilt and pull the coin out, which he gives Sam.
In the end, things return to normal in town while Dean tells Sam he does remember Hell, but doesn't want to talk about it due to the traumatic experience.
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, Sam protests to Cass who knocks him out. The angels are banished by Anna and the group take her to Pamela and its revealed that Anna is actually a rogue angel. They help 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. Soon he talks with Dean about Alastair's remark of his time in Hell, By this point, Sam has decided to respect Dean's reason for not telling him of Hell. However, Dean finally reveals to Sam of his time in hell, stating that four months is like forty years in there. For thirty years, Dean refused and was tortured by the demon, but he couldn't take it anymore more and agreed to torture others for the other ten years, to Sam's horror. Dean tells Sam he wishes he couldn't feel a thing.
Dean and Sam continue hunting and in Family Remains, Sam is surprised when Dean confesses to him that he enjoyed torturing souls, as he finally had the chance to dish out the same pain that he'd endured for the past thirty years.
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 who attacked Dean. He interrogates Alastair on how Lilith is killing angels as he tortures the demon to tell him, Alastair states she isn't doing it. Getting his answer, Sam is dared by Alastair to exorcise him. Instead of exorcising him, Sam tells that he now has the ability to kill him psychically and does so.
Afterwards, Sam takes his brother to a hospital as Castiel comes to Dean's room, where Sam is sitting beside his brother's bedside. Sam demands Castiel get in there and heal Dean as Castiel tells Sam he can't. Sam argues that Castiel and Uriel are the ones who put Dean in there, all because they can't keep a simple devil's trap together. Castiel apologizes to Sam, unable to explain what happened as Sam snaps at Castiel, saying that making Dean torture again was for nothing. It's not the demons, but something else. Castiel brings up the possibility that Alastair was lying, but Sam shoots it down.
In It's A Terrible Life, in an effort to put Dean back on the "right path," Zachariah, Castiel's superior, re-writes Dean and Sam's memories to remove their knowledge of supernatural creatures, making them believe they are average people working regular jobs, and drops them in a haunted building. Ironically, Sam unlike Dean, is the one who wants the life of hunting monsters, and realizes that he was meant for it. After the brothers proceed to defeat the ghost behind the hauntings, Sam quits his job and tries to implore Dean but the latter wants a normal job before he does the same. Zachariah (who posed as Dean's boss) restores Dean's memories and presumably Sam's as well to show them that hunting is in their blood.
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 but is overpowered. When Chuck and Dean arrive, the archangel protecting Chuck 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, Sam sees 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. Sam watches as 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 their father and Adam together proving his claims, to their shock. 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
While reconvening on what to do Sam meets a supernatural book fan Becky Rosen who helps him. He is distraught when Bobby turns him away but he is revealed to be possessed by a demon as he and Dean rush him to a hospital. He also learns that because of him, Dean is destined to be the vessel for the archangel Michael who has to fight Lucifer and end the war but at the cost of millions of lives. Sam is tortured by Zachariah who breaks his legs and removes his lungs when Dean refuses to consent. They are saved by a resurrected Castiel who places Enochian Sigils on them to prevent the angels and Lucifer from locating them.
Sam 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 in his dreams 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 the vessel of the Devil, which meant his body will be used to fight Dean in the final battle. After Lucifer reveals he needs Sam's permission to possess him, Sam angrily says he'd kill himself first before he consents. Unfazed, Lucifer states he'll just resurrect him and tells him he will agree - sooner or later - before disappearing, leaving Sam shaken.
In The End, Sam calls Dean and reveals his experience as Dean is surprisingly unfazed about Sam being Lucifer's vessel, telling Sam its not that overwhelming. Sam soon states he wants to work with him again in effort for redemption and change his fate but Dean declines working with him again, reiterating they were only each other's weaknesses and the angels will exploit it. Sam tries to persuade his brother, who hangs up on him. It's implied that this choice is what motivated Sam to accept Lucifer in the post-apocalyptic future that Zachariah sends Dean to. After returning and being saved by Cass, Dean's horrifying experience prompts 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 told of a bizarre case and believe The Trickster is back. Sam suggested talking to him for aid but Dean is not too sure of this. They are thrown into an alternate universe where they're in TV shows by the Trickster. They meet the Trickster and ask for his aid but he refuses and has them "play their roles". Castiel tried to help twice but was banished by the trickster who Sam notes seemed familiar with the angel.
Eventually, they attempt to kill the trickster but fail and Sam is turned into the impala by him. As they wonder to do, Sam told Dean they are most likely not dealing with a trickster. The brothers added up the clues about their foe before realizing he's an angel. They pretend to surrender and Sam is changed back to normal, as they trap their foe who is revealed to be 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 Sam still asks him to help but Gabriel states nothing they do could stop the "inevitable". They force Gabriel to bring Castiel back and leave after freeing the archangel. Sam wondered on what Gabriel's words meant on their endeavors.
|“||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 sic's 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. Even though he briefly considered Anna's idea, he, 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. Sam was excited to finally meet his mother while Dean to calm him. 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 Anna while banishing Uriel away. As Sam laid dead, Dean demanded for him to be healed by Michael and the latter complied by restoring Sam and sending him back to his own time to complete their "destiny". Sam and Dean then tend to a weakened Castiel who came home in one piece, though both brothers feel the weight of the destinies the angels have for them more than ever. Sam admitted to being weak before and remarked on how Michael got their father to consent as Dean stated they can change their fates as he labels himself, Sam, and Castiel as Team Free Will.
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 asks to be locked up 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 the Winchesters have died other times and met up with him but the angels had erased their memories of those times before they were resurrected. They also 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 actually talks to him and was in fact on Earth and relays his message to them to stop looking for him as 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 such as putting them on the plane, resurrecting Castiel, and letting them enter Heaven despite them causing the Apocalypse. Joshua returns them to Earth after telling them they've met before and they will go back 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 him, he speaks with his younger brother who he tries to relate to with 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 since he has faith in his older brother. 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
Year of Soulless SamEdit
After being raised from Lucifer's Cage and leaving Dean, Sam who lacked his Soul tried to get answers for his return from Castiel with no results and searched for him for weeks. Sam even went to Bobby for help but told him not to inform Dean since he gave up hunting.
Sam eventually goes back to hunting, choosing not to contact Dean. Sometime along the way, he encountered 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.
Without his soul, Sam lacked any morals or conscience in anything shown by sleeping with a a hooker hunting which allowed him to adopt a callous attitude and show no remorse in killing innocents. On a hunt for a Arachne with his grandfather, Sam slept with a married woman and used sheriff Roy as bait to get the job done. Sam even beat up an innocent officer and nearly killed him until a disgusted Samuel told him to stop.
|“||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
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 resurrected 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 for trapping them. 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 as 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 it.
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.
In The French Mistake, Sam and Dean are sent to another universe by Balthazar after he tells them an angel named Virgil is hunting down Castiel's loyalists. While in the other world, Sam is mistaken for Jared Padalecki (character) who is married to Genevieve Padalecki (character). Sam and Dean saw there was no magic in that world and agreed to try and find a way to return to their world. After learning Virgil's plans, they attack him to get the key for Heaven's weapons and are successful before returning to their world. They watch the confrontation between Castiel and Raphael who retreats after Castiel reveals he has the weapons.
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 decide to find Eve and get help from Lenore who tells them where to find her before she is killed by Cass at her request. Now knowing where to find her, they 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 a crossroads demon named Guy. During a fight with Guy's lackey Jackson, Sam is overwhelmed but Becky saves him by killing the demon.
At the end, Crowley arrives and reveals that he had his demons stay back for the few months so the Winchesters could hunt the Leviathans. Sam thought on the last few months of the lack of demon attacks and was surprised by Crowley's support in their endeavors. Sam watched as Dean had Crowley cancel Guy's deals so the people would be spared and the latter complied with Dean turning Guy over. After Guy is taken away, Sam is still angry at Becky for drugging him and annuls the marriage, though reluctantly thanks her for saving him and 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.
During The Slice Girls, Sam and Dean investigate a series of murders in which all the victims have symbols carved in their bodies and their feet are cut off. They go to a professor who tells them about Amazons and their rituals, which are a rite of passage for the daughters to kill their fathers. When Dean sleeps with a woman, which unknowingly conceives a daughter named Emma who ages rapidly and reaches teenage years in three days. Sam realizes she is an amazon and is amused that his brother is a father and him an uncle. When a police officer who turns out to be an amazon attacks him, Sam kills her but finds his phone broken preventing from calling Dean. Sam rushes to find Dean hesitating to shoot his daughter Emma. Taking matters into his own hands, Sam busts in and kills his niece with shots in her chest. On the drive, he criticizes Dean for being reluctant when he used to chew him out for hesitating in the past by stating 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 and the latter awakes to see his friend. Sam seems better than ever and gets his sanity back, but at the cost of Castiel's. Sam is sadden to leave his friend at the hospital with Meg
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 again, 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, after he arrives in the future 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 uses his last moments to express pride in them before dies giving them the key. Sam and Dean give him a funeral with his other deceased Men Of Letters friends.
In Everybody Hates Hitler, they're led to the headquarters, and after further research work a case with the Juda Society. The two make the bunker their new home, with Sam taking 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. They 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 is 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 holds off Crowley and tells Sam to save his brother and her "unicorn", something he promises. Meg 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 proves his identity to the man by telling a secret only he knew. The two fight demons and escape through the portal through Purgatory. Sam also told Bobby that he will be sent to Heaven after they return to Earth, something the latter begrudgingly accepts.
When Ajay doesn't show (since he was killed by Crowley), Sam and Bobby are forced to fight monsters and are trapped in the monster realm. Sam is also scolded by Bobby for not looking for Dean and leaving him to endure a full year in Purgatory, which makes Sam feel guilt. They are rescued by Benny, who Sam tells Bobby is a friend of Dean. Benny reveals he 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, though Crowley nearly impedes them but Naomi appears and helps them in completing the second trial. Afterwards, Sam tells Dean 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 to him. 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, to his brother's annoyance. It is all very jarring for the boys, as they meet Marie and Maeve who are big fans and tell them of little details, as a result and they find no trace of monsters but soon do when hearing of Marie seeing a bizarre kidnapping. When the girls tell Sam and Dean she wants to believe in ghosts and demons, as Sam encourages it, since those things are real and reveal they are the Winchesters though the girls accept monsters are real, they seemingly deny any possibility that Sam and Dean are the real ones because they are too old. Regardless, they research and learn it is the goddess Calliope behind the kidnappings and decide to play go on after learning that she will eat Marie who they use as bait to draw her out. In the midst, Sam is soon kidnaped and finds the hostages who help him kill the goddess. With the case over, the brothers watch the play and are nostalgic before being disturbed at remembering their captive brother Adam. Marie also implied she now believes he and Sam are the real deal by handing 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.
During Ask Jeeves, Dean and Sam learn that learned a recently deceased rich woman left Bobby money but with his death, it goes to them. They arrive at the mansion, where they find themselves put off by the rich lady's relatives. However, a string of murders occur and soon they are accused when they tried to help. While captive, Sam shows Dean it was the maid and the rich lady's daughter Olivia (Shapeshifter) who committed the murder. The two break out and Sam holds her off, learning that Bobby had told the mother to lock Olivia away when she tries to kill him Dean comes to his aid by confronting her. Sam later watched as Dean proceeded to kill her and fire several more rounds into her body, possibly as a result of the Mark of Cain. Though Dean cast it aside, it showed Sam that Dean is still plagued by the mark's effects.
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 smiles at the chance to kill Sam and 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 the presumed deceased 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. Billie appears to Sam and he is informed of the deal and accepts. Sam and Dean are successful and manage to outsmart the Secret Service, who they detain before telling them what really happened with the president and leave them. The brothers are soon reunited with Mary and Castiel, who were guided by Mick Daives and Arthur Ketch. They tell them what happen as the two british men of letter go to deal with the survivors at the facility who are ultimately killed by Arthur Ketch. 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 Sam or Dean can offer themselves up, Mary volunteers herself and Billie incapacitates the intervening brothers. Before Mary can carry the out the sacrifice, 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 Stuck in the Middle (With You), Sam takes part in the attack on the house of a certain demon that Mary was looking into. He joins his family, Castiel, and Mary's friend Wally in killing the demons guarding the house before the demon Mary was investigating arrives and injures Cass before he is distracted and they escape to a barn. While there, Sam asks what his mother led them to before Crowley appears. Through him and Castiel, Sam learns that the demon Ramiel is one of the Princes of Hell like Azazel, who were Hell's most powerful generals and the Lance that Castiel got stabbed with was a weapon for Michael to kill Lucifer and the latter will die soon. Crowley then leaves as the Winchesters set a trap for Ramiel. Sam is horrified when Crowley is soon thrown the barn by Ramiel and is knocked unconscious while the Winchesters successfully trap Ramiel. They interrogate him for the cure but he tells there is no cure while also explaining his sister Dagon is watching over Lucifer's child.
Unfortunately, his weapon, the Lance of Michael, enables him to break free and he proceeds to brutally attack each Winchester. When he attacks Dean, Sam stops him from killing him as they fight over the spear before Mary stabs Ramiel with an angel blade, this leaves him distracted long enough for Sam to kill him with the Lance.
However, the Lance's effects are slowly killing Castiel, much to Sam's horror. Castiel does not recover, and thinking this is the end, Castiel professes his love for all of them. Sam and Dean are touched, but Crowley awakes in time and destroys the Lance, which restores Castiel to full health. Dean and Sam help him get to his feet and the three return home together.
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.
In The Rising Son, Sam spends time with Jack and Dean The trio are soon visited by Donatello Redfield. After Donatello notices that Jack's presence, Sam tells him he's a Nephilim and son of Lucifer. When Donatello tells them that Jack doesn't have toxic aura like Lucifer, Sam is pleased before Dean comments not yet.
When Jack goes missing the brothers and Donatello search for him, they find him with another "Donatello" using his powers to open a rift. They inform Jack the impostor was a demon which they prove by shooting him and he reveals his true form and he has yellow eyes like the Princes of Hell. The demon uses his powers to choke them but an angered Jack realizing he was tricked makes an attempt to attack Asmodeus but the latter flees.
During the night, Dean and Sam do research and realize the demon was Asmodeus, the last of the Princes of Hell.
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 him 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 by Buddy who readies to shoot him, as Mia tries to stop Buddy but is pushed aside though Jack uses his power to blast Buddy away and 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 about something. 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 the realm as Castiel describes his horrible experience in the void of nothingness and how he awoke to a voice saying his name stating he thought they had a role. The brothers state it wasn't them as 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 they 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 as she brings up their dislike of witches but they do help people in need. Daniela takes them to a hidden cabin and she explains that she had escaped from the witch killer who is looking for Rowena MacLeod. The brothers knew she was dead and after Dean's question about his accent is confirmed, Sam shows Daniela the picture of the Ketch lookalike who she confirms was her attacker by showing them the scars from his torture. Using Daniela as bait, the Winchesters lure Ketch to a witch safe house and knock him out with a dart. Sam helps Daniela up as they look upon the unconscious Ketch.
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.
In The Scorpion and The Frog, while searching for Jack they are contacted by Barthamus, the new Ruler of the Crossroads who wants them to help him but they refuse until he shows them half of a Nephilim tracking spell which he threatens to give Asmodeus unless they comply. After doing research, they find the spell can actually track down Jack and agree. Barthamus wants them to steal something from an old man named Luther Shrike, Sam distracts him but Luther sees through his plot and tried to kill Sam with a shotgun blast, but Sam managed to dodge the shot and retrieve the knife. As Luther reloaded, Sam stabbed him in the stomach with the knife, but Luther was unharmed to Sam's shock. Removing the knife, Luther revealed that as long as he was on his property, he couldn't die.
Taking advantage of Sam's shock, Luther grabbed the gorgon tooth and used it to knock Sam unconscious. Sam soon woke up as Dean was dealing with Luther and told Dean that Luther was immortal. Dean responded by punching Luther in the face, knocking him out. They tied him up to a pillar and wondered how to get to the safe that was protected by traps but Sam came up with the idea to use Luther himself to bypass the traps. The brothers tied the old man to a chair on top of a rolling platform and sent it rolling through the vault. As they watched a gagged Luther screamed, they saw he was unharmed but in pain from all of the darts. With the traps effectively disabled, the brothers tied Luther to the pillar again and opened the safe and retrieving the trunk with Alice's help. The Winchesters discovered that Luther had escaped his bonds and disappeared. On the road, Luther appeared in the middle of the road in a truck to stop them. Luther chased the Impala, but as he closed in on the smaller car, Sam opened fire and shot out Luther's driver-side tire, forcing Luther's truck off the road.
The brothers armed themselves but Luther emerged without a fight since he was defenseless off his property, Luther soon told them what had happened with Barthamus and his son in the past, which earned their sympathy as the Winchesters believed Luther's story. Luther revealed that he had leverage over Barthamus and provided Sam with the key to the trunk to look inside. When the Winchesters found a set of human bones, Luther explained Barthamus' bones. To their horror, Barthamus appears and decapitates Luther. The demon confirmed Luther's story to the Winchesters, showing a callous attitude about what he had done to Luther and his son. Utterly disgusted with Barthamus' treatment of Luther and his son and deeply sympathetic to both of them, the Winchesters refused to turn over Barthamus' bones to him. Barthamus then took Alice hostage and demands that the Winchesters turn over his bones in exchange for Alice's life, promising to kill her if they try to burn his bones and kill him. Reluctantly, they slide Barthamus' bones out and he sends a terrified Alice out to retrieve them and decides to keep the spell. As Barthamus gloats, Alice gestures to Barthamus' bones where Dean has left his lighter. Not noticing this, Barthamus ordered Alice to hurry up as Alice walks over to the bones, and uses Dean's lighter to set them on fire. With a scream, Barthamus catches on fire and burns to ash along with his vessel, killing Barthamus. Sam is ordered by Dean to get the spell as he runs to retrieve it but the fire from Barthamus' destruction ignites the tracking spell, destroying it as well.
Afterwards, the brothers bid Alice farewell and decide to keep looking for Jack in a new way.
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. As they form a rift at boatyard, the interference of the angels as well as Kaia shifting to another world causes a shockwave. Everyone is sent elsewhere, Kaia being to sent to area on the road while Sam and Dean get sent to the The Bad Place, with Jack alone going to Apocalypse World.
In Wayward Sisters, Sam and his brother traveled through The Bad Place where they are forced to survive in a forest of monsters. Very soon, the Winchesters are confronted by a hooded figure who proceeds to attack them and knock them out with its spear.
They awoke to find themselves captured by their attacker who was planning to have them fed to a giant monster but they are saved by Claire Novak and Kaia Nieves who arrived through the rift. Seeing Kaia, Sam asked about Jack but she replies he was sent to the other world with Mary. The girls free them as they run to the rift as the hooded being finds them and throws a spear at Claire but Kaia sacrifices herself to protect her. The brothers bring a stunned Claire back to their world after crossing the rift.
At the end, Sam warns Jody that the rift was opened for a while and there could be other strange monsters still roaming but Jody says they can handle it and the brothers head home.
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. When Sam awoke, he found himself restrained while, Terrance revealed his true nature to Sam and told him his reason for doing all this. He stated he discovered monsters were real and to keep them at bay and reap in some extra money, he'd captured people that nobody would miss and sell them to monsters.
Terrance soon revealed he is aware of who Sam and Dean were from his position as an agent and monster community before he proceeded on 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.
After Doug wakes up, they explain to him what they do and offer him a chance to help but he refuses though compliments what they do for people. Sam comforts Donna after he breaks up with her.
At the bunker, Sam tells Dean that he realized from their time in the Bad Place as well as losing Jack and their mother that the people around them all die. He ends it by stating their job ends bloody before going to his room.
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 by her appearance. Rowena later goes with them to the bunker where she explains her return and asked about her son, Sam informed her of Crowley's death which shocked her. Rowena then decided to help them after she reveals she put a tracking spell on the Black Grimoire which forces the brothers to take her along.
In Stillwater, Oklahoma; Rowena explained to the Winchesters that she is after a ritual in the book that will remove the magical binding placed upon her by the Grand Coven upon her expulsion. As Dean searches for information from the locals, Sam talks to Rowena who tells him that when Lucifer last killed her, Lucifer showed Rowena his true face. This has left Rowena terrified of what can happen to her and she wants her full powers back so that she can defend herself. Having also seen Lucifer's true face, Sam sympathizes with Rowena and attempts to give her advice on how to handle her fear.
Dean then returned with a location of the witch sisters but refused to take Rowena with them, Rowena suddenly tosses a hex bag at the Winchesters' feet and magically immobilizes them. Sam soon found a way to remove the bag which freed them and they go after Rowena.
They arrive in time to find Rowena attacked by the Plum sister's zombie mother. A fight ensued between the brothers and witches where the two hunters are overpowered with Sam correctly deducing that it was a spell that had enhanced their strength to superhuman levels. Rowena soon shot Mrs. Plum in the head as the Plum sisters were able to pin the Winchesters to a table. Distracted by their mother's death, Rowena cursed the Plum sisters with Attack Dog Spell, commanding them to kill each other. Under the command, the sisters savagely attacked the other. They both later died due to the inflicted wounds.
In the aftermath, Dean once again refuses to leave Rowena with the Black Grimoire. Still terrified, Rowena pleads with Sam who takes the book from her, but covertly leaves Rowena with the page containing the ritual that she needs to free herself.
At the end, Dean later questioned Sam's reason for sympathizing with Rowena as he knew he gave her the spell to unbind her. Sam told her he could relate to how she felt about Lucifer even though she isn't a friend and promised to kill her if she went out of line.
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 the 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 the Alternate Michael who wants to invade and conquer their world, something that shocks the brothers. 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.
During Good Intentions, as Dean and Cass went out Sam stayed behind doing some research. But in the middle of it, Donatello turned hostile and attacked Sam who was forced to restrain him. When Dean and Castiel returned, Sam explained Donatello's change while telling Castiel that the prophet had no soul. Sam was horrified when Castiel painfully stripped the ingredients from Donatello's mind but agreed with the necessity after hearing Asmodeus had been controlling him.
In A Most Holy Man, the brothers then get the ingredient of a most holy man. At the bunker, they are relieved and Sam tells Dean even if they are successful in their efforts there will still be monsters. He is told by his brother to have faith which shocks Sam with his words.
In Scoobynatural, Sam and Dean are attacked by a living dinosaur toy which they soon kill by blowing it up. After the store owner thanks them, he lets them have anything they want which causes Dean to ask for a flat screen television which annoys Sam as they carry it.
Later on, Dean calls Sam into a room which is revealed to be a leisure spot for Dean that is complete with the TV. After hooking up the monitor, the screen glows and the brothers are sucked into the television, now as 2-dimensional cartoons. They find Baby in the cartoon world and drive it to the local hangout, the Malt Shop, and find the Mystery Machine, concluding they were in a Scooby Doo cartoon. Dean, fawning over his childhood heroes, greets them and they allow him and Sam to join them in their adventure, which Dean recalls the episode and they decide to play it out.
However, unlike in the original run, they discover that one of the victims, Cousin Simple, was murdered when they discovered his dead body. Despite the brutal circumstance, the Scooby Gang treat it like a normal mystery. Sam and Dean soon tackle a figure who is revealed to be Castiel, having been sucked into the television as well, joins them on their case to figure out the mystery. Discovering the television displayed purple sparks, like the stuffed dinosaur, the Winchesters realize the two must be connected to the pawn shop. While exploring the hallways, they are attacked by the Phantom, after it brutally murdered Cosgood Creeps, and the Winchesters realize the Phantom is a real ghost that they would normally investigate.
The group splits up to investigate and Velma who has taken an interest in Sam tells him to join her in the attic. While there Sam is confused by her talking about his shoulders, as she shyly shrugs it off before remarking on tries to tell Velma that the supernatural is real, but she denies it, firmly believing all ghosts and monsters are just people. Dean continues to flirt with Daphne, but she continues to remain ignorant of his flirtations. He soon finds a book in the library that triggers a trap door, that they fall into before fleeing from the ghost.
They all meet up, and the Phantom attacks them, with Fred getting injured, and Shaggy getting thrown out through the balcony door. Sam and Dean drive off the Phantom, using iron candlesticks and find Shaggy holding on for his life. Scooby jumps to save Shaggy and Castiel jumps and slows their descent to the ground, but Shaggy's arm gets broken. With Shaggy's injury and the unexplainable abilities displayed by the Phantom, the Scooby Gang is confused by the unusual circumstances. Sam and Dean decide to tell them that all the paranormal stuff is real, including the ghost. The Gang begin to have a nervous break down by this revelation, but Dean encourages them, which gets Sam to admit he watched the show as well.
After the initial trap fails, they lure the ghost to the library, and have it fall through the trap door, where it lands in the basement, in a circle of salt, trapping it. Sam, Dean and Castiel interrogate it alone and the Phantom reveals itself to be the ghost of a little boy. The ghost tells them his soul was tied to a pocket knife, found by Jay, and Jay placed the knife in items, like the stuffed dinosaur and the television, to cause the ghost to haunt and attack people against his will. They make a deal that if the ghost releases them back to the real world, they would put him to rest.
Before they leave, the three find the Scooby Gang suffering a second nervous break down which Dean states they can't leave them in. To set their minds at ease, they have the ghost disguise itself as Cosgood Creeps in the Phantom costume, making the cartoon heroes believe the whole thing was just another staged set up by a normal human.
As he bids Velma farewell, Velma grabs and kisses him which surprises Sam who looks after her with a smile.
During The Thing, Sam is sleeping as he was up all night doing research before Dean pulls pranks on him and they go over Solomon's seal as the next ingredient for the spell. As they look through books, Sam soon found Dean placed notes on him and calls him to confront him but Dean comes with research that is noteworthy and is located in Rhode Island.
Captured, Sam meets Marco and Ophelia Avila who question him on his letting a monster out. Sam is confused as they explained the other men of letters' bunker, he reveals his family is tied to the organization as they revealed the same goes for them. They explained their great grandfather went mad after he became disgusted by the world after seeing nothing but chaos. Sam learns that a rift was opened and a god called Yokoth emerged from it and slaughtered some of the people who summoned it before the rift was closed before its mate could escape. Sam learns it was bound in Sandy's body and that descendants of survivors were guarding it before he takes their sarcastic gratitude for freeing it in stride.
Returning to the diner, Sam finds the bodies but no sign of his brother who the Avila siblings revealed must have been taken for Yokoth to breed. Sam realized his brother was in danger and headed back to the other bunker Marco and Ophelia Avila. They arrived in time as the ritual was occurring, Sam attacked Yokoth, which distracted her long enough for Dean to free his right hand, snatch the Seal of Solomon and toss it to Ophelia who casts a reversal spell to close the rift.
As the rift closed, Glythur was sucked back into its own universe but before the rift fully closed, Glythur wrapped his tentacles around Yokoth and dragged the screaming Yokoth back with him. The brothers explained to the Avila siblings they needed the seal to open a rift and they knew the repercussions but were prepared as they were given the item.
The Winchesters returned to the Men of Letters bunker with the Seal of Solomon, they note the last ingredient is grace of an Archangel before they realize someone is waiting for them and aim their guns only to see its Arthur. Sam disbelieves Arthur's statement of being peaceful but the latter states he's brought them a gift. To their shock, Arthur reveals a battered Gabriel in his possession and they are at loss as they believed him dead but Arthur says that wasn't the case. Seeing his state, Sam listens as Arthur explains that Asmodeus had been holding Gabriel prisoner until Arthur rescued him. After Arthur tells them that he heard they need an archangel for a spell, Sam admitted to needing his grace which scared Gabriel. Arthur then presents a vial containing Gabriel's grace, stolen along with the Archangel blade. In return, Arthur asks for sanctuary at the bunker since Asmodeus will chase him to the ends of the Earth for his actions. Sam refuses his request but to his and Arthur's obvious shock, Dean agrees to Arthur's proposal as he explains to Sam if it can potentially help them get their mother and Jack back.
Afterwards, Sam cuts the stitches holding Gabriel's mouth shut and asks Gabriel what happened to him. Before Gabriel can respond, Dean arrives with his gear and tells Sam to prepare to open the portal to Apocalypse World, as he wanted to save their loved ones quicker. Sam tries to get his stuff but Dean tells him he's going alone as he needs Sam to be there in case he gets trapped and because he needs him to keep an eye on things. Arthur then arrives and announces that he'll join Dean, stating he wanted to be a world away from an angry Asmodeus. To Sam's surprise, Dean instantly agrees to allow Arthur to join him when he won't allow Sam. Sam questions this as Dean tells him that he doesn't care if Arthur survives or not unlike Sam and in fact hopes he doesn't, something that Arthur takes in stride. Sam tells Dean its safer if they are together but Dean shoots this down as Sam is needed with ensuring the rift stays open.
Seeing no alternative, Sam gives up and begins the ritual and once the rift opens, Sam is entrusted with Gabriel by Dean before he and Arthur pass through into Apocalypse World together, leaving Sam and Gabriel behind.
In Bring 'em Back Alive, Sam is scolded by Castiel for allowing Dean to go to Apocalypse World though he states Ketch is there but Castiel is unmoved by this. The two soon tend to Gabriel who shows no signs of improvement only expressing fear. Sam tried to get through to him as he wondered how Gabriel can be alive and where he was but he is told by Castiel that Gabriel might be too gone but Sam keeps trying to speak.
Very soon, Castiel calls on Sam and they see the wall covered in symbols which Castiel translates and it tells Gabriel's story of how he faked his death and went into hiding, during the apocalypse before he was captured and sold off to Asmodeus. Seeing some hope in Gabriel, Sam tries to get more out of him even telling him he needs him and he understands his reasons but he needs to return to his right mind and starts to leave but Gabriel speaks to him. Relieved, Sam and Gabriel talk before he was given his grace by Cass. Sam then gets call from Asmodeus (who detected Gabriel's power) who tells him to hand over Gabriel or he'll come to them and destroy the bunker.
Knowing the severity of the threat, Sam and Castiel try to ward off the bunker from the Prince of Hell but it was for nothing as Asmodeus and his forces invade. Sam kills a demon and is saved by Castiel from one that tried to kill him from behind before they were knocked away by Asmodeus who states the warding couldn't stop him. As demons take Gabriel away, Asmodeus begins to inflict pain on Sam and Castiel. Seeing this, Gabriel breaks free of his captors and heals himself, he kills Asmodeus by incinerating the demon, saving his friends.
Afterwards, Sam and Castiel caught Gabriel up on everything that has such as an alternate universe Michael trying to invade their world, his nephew being sent to the Apocalypse World and was asked to help them but he declines and tells them that he will put his faith in them. Sam begged him to help but he again declines, as he wanted no part in the conflict as he wished them luck and he left the bunker.
When Dean returns, Sam asks him where Jack and Mary are before he is informed Michael doesn't have them and that Ketch stayed behind with alternate version of Charlie Bradbury. Sam was surprised to hear this but relieved Jack and Mary are safe. He and Castiel inform Dean of the events that occurred but he was angry at Gabriel's refusal to help. Sam watched as Castiel swore to Dean that they'd find Gabriel again.
In Funeralia, Sam, Dean, and Castiel try to track down Gabriel but have no luck. They contact Rowena who ignores their pleas and Sam complains about this before going over his computer. He is later surprised to hear Castiel intends to go to Heaven for help before he reveals news about killing people who had heinous pasts.
They suspect its Rowena and Sam is hesitant to believe this as he feels responsible for letting her power up. Dean tells Sam that he doesn't want to state he warned him but they have to be ready for anything. Sam is then surprised after Jessica appears and Dean stops the car. Sam points a gun at her asking what she is before he realizes Dean knows her and learns that she is a Reaper sent by Billie to monitor them. Sam is embarrassed as she brings up his hair products. Jessica soon tells them that someone is killing people ahead of their assigned death and that person is Rowena MacLeod.
Annoyed with her, Sam sends her off while Dean stated they could of use her help.
They investigate the death scene and do research on the victim but nothing fits Rowena's motive. They notice a scorch mark and Sam reveals to Dean that is the remains of a reaper. Acting on this, Dean calls Jessica and questions her about the reapers dying and she states this was why she was sent. Sam is annoyed when she states she would have told them had he not sent her off. Sam listens as Jessica states Rowena is killing reapers and explains what consequences that Rowena's actions will cause and how they should stop her since Billie ordered the reapers not to get involved directly. Jessica soon mentions Dean's list of deaths before revealing that on Rowena's list of deaths, Sam is always the one to kill Rowena permanently, which surprises him.
Rowena calls the brothers for a meeting, they question her motives as Rowena revealed she was doing all this to get Death's attention so she would resurrect Crowley for her, as she went onto state it was her fault as to how he turned out. The brothers state it won't be possible and threaten her with the fact that they have learned Sam is always the one to permanently kill her, to her mild shock.
As she escapes, Sam goes after her, but is taken to Rowena's hideout where he tries to talk her out of it. She tortures him before Billie shows up. Sam is stunned to finally see Billie as the new Death. He watches as Billie and Rowena talk as the latter tells the witch to stop her actions but Rowena threatens to kill Sam but Billie is unfazed and Sam sees Rowena attack her though it has no affect. Sam then witnesses Rowena break down at her failure as Billie tells her that there is natural order to things and though it may hurt they all have to accept it. Dean and Jessica enter, she greets Dean before stating she'll see him again shortly before disappearing.
Afterwards, Sam is tended to by Dean as they ask Rowena if she is okay as she replies she doesn't know. Sam comforts her before telling her Lucifer is back and they may need her help in stopping him, which she agrees to, pointing out that she now knows Lucifer won't be the one to ultimately kill her. Both brothers express hope that Rowena can be redeemed and that they can help her change her fate.
In Unfinished Business, Sam and Dean have Rowena search for Gabriel by using a tracking spell to narrow down his location. Arriving at a motel, Sam tries to unpack Dean stops him and complains about the search for Gabriel who doesn't want to be found as they have to worry about their mother and Jack. As he complains, Gabriel appears at the door wounded and greets them, as they are shocked to see him.
Sam tended to Gabriel as they question him on his injury but he ignores the question by asking if they had some of his grace but they deny this. As Gabriel tried to leave, two men named Sleipnir and Narfi arrived and demanded for Gabriel and they attacked the hunters. Sam fought Narfi and gets strangled but Narfi was killed by Gabriel who threatened to do the same to Sleipnir. Terrified, Sleipnir fled, followed by Dean who quickly lost him.
Afterwards, the brothers disposed of Narfi's body and once again questioned Gabriel who refused to answer but Dean handcuffed him for answers. Sam and Dean learn the two men they fought were pagans and that Gabriel killed their brother which was they were hunting him down. Gabriel continued on by revealing his past with the pagans' father Loki and the deal the two made after Gabriel faked his death before Loki and his sons had him kidnapped and sold to Asmodeus. Sam listened to Gabriel reveal his intentions to settle the score and understood the latter's insistence on finishing it. They offered him help but only if he will help them in their endeavors and he begrudgingly agreed.
Tracking down Loki at a motel, Gabriel and the Winchesters confronted Sleipnir and his men. A fight brought out after Sleipnir quickly ordered his bodyguards to get the three. With a snap of his fingers, Gabriel turned out the lights and a gunfight ensued in the dark. During the fight, the Winchesters killed Sleipnir's bodyguards and Sam hit Sleipnir himself in the right shoulder with a silver bullet, sending Sleipnir to the ground. Sam watched Gabriel kill Sleipnir. Sam soon realized Dean went after Loki alone, as Gabriel stated Loki was his and they went to stop Dean.
Sam split from Gabriel and reached the penthouse where Dean was fighting a projection of Loki but shot at it and watched as it dissipated.
Later, Sam and Dean went down the hall where they watched Gabriel kill the real Loki. Afterwards, Gabriel thanked the brothers for their help even though he knew they weren't keen on it. Gabriel then decided help them in defeating Michael, as they question his change in mind which he states is because he promised. Sam speaks to Gabriel and asked how he really felt as he replied that he felt good about it as he accepted the latter's answer.
Later, as they wait for Gabriel's grace to recharge, Sam talks to Dean and mentions that Rowena is "boning up" on the Demon Tablet and Castiel is helping Gabriel settle in for their upcoming mission to Apocalypse World. Sam then confronts Dean on his leaving to kill Loki alone as he states that it looked like they could handle it but Sam sees he's lying. Sam then asks about his recent treatment to him lately such as going to Apocalypse World with Ketch and having him miss out. He then hears Dean voice his lack of concern for himself and that he only cares about what happens to him mentions the last time the Apocalypse occurred Sam died and that he doesn't want that to happen again as Sam tells him no matter what happens they will do things together even if it means death before he leaves out.
In Beat the Devil, Sam dreamed about being reunited with Mary and was happy until he was forced to wake up. Sam and the others prepare the spell and he is amused to hear Gabriel is extracting his grace in Dean's room. However, it wasn't enough grace to open the rift and this caused the others to reconvene about the plan. Castiel suggested tracking down Lucifer as he is the only choice, Dean and Sam were against this since they had too much experience with him until Castiel convinces Dean they have no choice. Dean then tells Sam they deal with Lucifer afterwards. Agreeing Sam tells them he has plan, they go to notify Rowena and Gabriel who just finish having sex of Sam's plan.
After Gabriel and Rowena ambushed Lucifer and brought him to the bunker. Sam tells Lucifer his plan was to use Lucifer to continuously keep the rift open until they find Mary and Jack. Sam promises to kill him after the plan is a success and he is powerless before they leave Lucifer with Rowena.
In Apocalypse World, he tells Dean that his spirits are lifted since they can save their mother and Jack. They find a girl and man attacked by a vampire and they intervene by attacking it. After Sam kills the vampire, he learns that since the angels have exterminated most of humanity, the monsters are getting hungry and wilder for humans to devour.
They are told that Jack and Mary are at a camp which is where they are headed and there is a shortcut but vampires are there, Gabriel wanted to avoid it but everyone tells him it is the best way. Unfortunately, Sam was attacked by vampires and was dragged off by the vampires screaming. Castiel went after him and was horrified to find him dead and told Dean not to look at the carnage.
Having his throat ripped out by an Apocalypse World vampire, Sam lays lifeless before he suddenly wakes up with his wounds healed and he turns to find Lucifer with him. Seeing him, Sam questions Lucifer's arrival as the latter reveals that he tried to kill Rowena and got sent there by her before he drained the grace of several of Michael's angels to recharge himself and resurrected Sam who he was tracking. Sam asks Lucifer why he did it as he states he needs Sam to look good in front of his son and shows that he is using his powers to hold back a horde of starving vampires should he refuse. Lucifer insists that the Winchesters cannot defeat Michael without his help and presses Sam to accept his help.
Reluctantly, Sam agreed and they travel to the camp where his appearance is met with surprise and joy by his family who mourned him. Seeing Jack and Mary, Sam smiled at them before Lucifer arrived as well and he frowned since he had no choice to bring him.
In Exodus, Sam is embraced by his mother and soon watches the argument between Dean and Lucifer who tells everyone he had brought Sam back and they needed his help. The argument causes a frustrated Jack to teleport away as Lucifer allows himself to be taken in by Supernatural Handcuffs, as a show of good will. Sam approaches Dean and apologizes for letting Dean's fear about him dying come true but Dean tells his brother that he's alive and that's what matters. They embrace before going to talk to Mary and are pleased when she punches Lucifer in the face as Castiel escorts him.
Sam and Dean talk to their mother but she tells him that she wants to defend the world after fighting with the humans. Sam supports this and says they will take the survivors to their world which pleases Mary. Afterwards, Sam went to the resistance's leaders for his proposal and they are skeptical until Mary vouches for them.
On the road, Sam is not to pleased to see Lucifer and Jack bonding even more so when Lucifer smites angels and reveal the cuffs didn't work.
Sam takes part in the interrogation of an angel and they learn Charlie and Ketch are being held captive. He goes with the others and kills the angels before helping Charlie out of her shackles, Sam hugs Charlie as she is confused by this. Remembering she is not his Charlie, he apologizes before she taps him on the arm as gratitude. Much later, Sam learns everyone decided to evacuate with them but they had no way to transport them until Dean noticed a bus and they fixed it up and drove everyone to the rift.
Sam was worried since the rift was closing but was surprised that opened again (due to Rowena prolonging it). They got everyone ready and Sam stopped Lucifer from trying to cross since he and Gabriel were needed in case something happened. As they were evacuating the humans from Apocalypse World through the Rift, Michael appeared while killing two humans. Sam was shocked to finally see the latter and witnessed Lucifer step forward to attack him but Michael easily tossed aside Lucifer before he approached the Winchesters but noticed Gabriel. Gabriel told Sam and Dean to retreat as Sam tried to talk him out of it but he was insistent on staying to make up for his past. Sam watched as Gabriel engaged Michael and the two fought and were seemingly even before Michael managed to kill Gabriel, to the brothers' horror. Sam and Dean then headed toward the rift with Sam going after Dean and personally stops Lucifer from heading back. Sam told Lucifer he should of thought this was how it was to be. Sam shared looks with Michael as he fled and the latter tried to go after the Winchesters but to no avail.
As everyone is celebrating, Rowena tells Sam that she couldn't have kept the rift open any longer. Sam thanks Rowena for her actions while stating he owes her as she has she will collect very soon as they share a drink. Sam and Dean then inform Castiel of his brother's sacrifice though assure him that Gabriel practically saved them from certain death. Castiel inquires about Lucifer as Dean states Sam handled it. Bobby announces a toast to Sam and Dean before he vows that someday they will return to their world and free everyone that is left.
During Let the Good Times Roll, Sam briefs the Apocalypse World refugees on the state of their world, in order to help them assimilate. Sam, Dean, Jack and Castiel later go on a werewolf hunt. After the hunt, he meets up with Dean who expresses hope that with Jack's help, they may actually be able to win over the forces of evil in the long run and retire. This left Sam surprised but the thought of finally relaxing after hunting, put a smile on his face.
After the murder of Maggie, Sam and the others talked to her friend and they learn it might have been a boy she liked who did. When Jack went after the supposed attacker, Sam and the others went to stop him with Dean being forced to shoot him to get Jack's attention. The Winchesters point out Nate's innocence, Jack departs, further distraught by his actions.
Angel radio is heard, Sam gets worried before he and his group spot a figure watching and leave out the store as the windows shatter. The Alternate Michael suddenly appears in a gas station to the shock of the Winchesters and Castiel who tries to attack him but Sam prevents him. Unable to defeat Michael, Dean ignites a trail of holy fire, holding Michael back long enough for the Winchesters and Castiel to escape in the Impala.
They return to the bunker where they find Maggie resurrected and are told by Mary that Lucifer was the one who brought her back before he left with Jack. Sam is confused by how the two archangels got to their world and Dean decides to contact Jody for help. The bunker is soon attacked by Michael who attacks the Winchesters and Castiel who prove to be no match for him. Sam is knocked aside and watches as Dean is picked up by Michael who begins to slowly strangle Dean to death as he gloats about his plan to cleanse the Main Universe. Seeing his brother in pain, Sam prays to Jack for help and the latter hears this and arrives in time to save Dean. Sam watched as Jack tortured Michael and watched as he nearly killed the Archangel but was prevented when Michael revealed his deal with Lucifer. Sam then watched the confrontation between Jack and which ends with Lucifer stealing Jack's power and preparing to take him, but Sam grabs onto him and they are whisked away.
At the church, Lucifer beats Sam for his previous attempt to trap him and tries to make Sam and Jack fight each other to the death. Sam refuses to harm Jack, despite being incapable of it anyway. Sam gets concern when Jack tries to kill himself with the Archangel Blade before Dean arrives, powered by Michael. During the fight that follows, Sam helps Dean kill Lucifer by tossing Dean an archangel blade. With the devil now dead, Sam congratulated his brother on this before he was horrified to watch Michael take full control over Dean. Sam was distraught to watch Michael leave in Dean's body to exact his own reign of terror.
In Stranger in a Strange Land, Sam run himself ragged in his search for his brother and has gotten no sleep in three weeks. He has taken to organizing the hunters from Apocalypse World and has sent them on various hunts.
Sam soon gets a call from demon called Kipling who used Castiel's phone to demand that Sam meet with him if Sam wished to see Castiel again alive. The next day, Sam arrived and Kipling made a big production of introducing "the great Sam Winchester" to the other demons as Sam was searched for weapons. Sam ignored Kipling's grandstanding to check on Castiel who Kipling assured him was alright as "I don't damage the merchandise" which Castiel confirmed. Sam listened as Kipling introduced himself then had his demons bring in a captive Jack and Maggie as proof that Sam didn't come along as he had requested. Kipling revealed that he wanted to make a deal with a surprised Sam. Kipling told Sam that Hell was "in a bit of a pickle" with the deaths of Crowley and Asmodeus which left Hell with no leader "for the first time in a very long time." Kipling confirmed Sam's suspicion that Kipling wanted to be the next King of Hell and explained that he wanted to work with Sam instead of against him. Kipling claimed that he took Castiel hostage instead of killing him to show Sam and his friends that Kipling could hurt them, but instead chose not to. Kipling asked for "the Crowley deal" where Kipling would give Sam information and "a spot of help" sometimes and Sam would in return turn a blind eye to crossroads deals and demon-on-demon violence. After Sam retaliated that they never gave Crowley that deal, Kipling simply responded that he would be breaking new ground. However, Sam recognized that while Kipling had some good lines, he was no Crowley which both Sam and the other demons knew. Kipling finally dropped the act and admitted that he was just putting on a show and would rather eat Sam's heart, but he had an image to maintain and wasn't afraid of Sam unlike the other demons. Kipling demanded that Sam accept the deal before he stopped trying to be Crowley and showed Sam who he really was, but Sam refused, even after Kipling claimed to know all sort of things that Sam would want to know.As Sam and Kipling talked, Bobby Singer and Mary Winchester burst in as backup with Mary tossing Sam the demon-killing knife. As the other hunters battled the other demons, Kipling confronted Sam and flung him into a table with telekinesis. Kipling attacked Sam, grappling with Sam and overpowering him despite Sam's best efforts. Kipling finally disarmed Sam of the knife and apparently knocked the hunter unconscious. As Kipling examined the knife as he prepared to stab Sam, Sam suddenly sat up, grabbed Kipling's arm and shoved the knife into his chest, killing Kipling. After killing Kipling, Sam tells the remaining demons that there would no longer be a Ruler of Hell and scares the demons into retreating.
In Gods and Monsters, Sam investigates a case with Mary and Bobby, he is amused by Bobby's attempt to do a case since he little time to do so. Learning the dead are vampires, they get a clue and go after a person of interest. They find out the dead had a visitor, they track her down and find out she is a vampire.
The group learn of where the vampires were trapped and head there. They are ambushed by werewolves, who are strangely immune to the standard weaknesses but not decapitation. After killing the monsters, Sam sees a figure appear and believes it's Michael but it turns out to be a weakened Dean who was released from his possession and greets him. Sam is happy to see Dean though wonders where Michael went but Dean doesn't know.
During The Scar, Sam and Dean return to the bunker while Bobby and Mary clean up the mess left by their hunt. Dean makes fun of Sam's new beard and sees that in his absence that the bunker has frequented by other hunters and relieves them that he is not Michael before being shocked to hear Sam being called Chief. After Dean finds himself with a scar on his arm and has no memory of it along with his possession by Michael, Sam watches as Castiel accesses his memories to find out why Michael left Dean and what left a strange scar on Dean's left arm. Sam hears Dean mention the person from the Bad Place inflicted the wound and realizes that their spear must be able to harm Michael and could be the key to defeating him. The Winchesters contact Jody Mills who has been investigating three murders she thought were done by a human serial killer but realizes were done by the mysterious person when they describe the weapon. The Winchesters and Jody search the woods near Sioux Falls for Kaia, finding three decapitated vampire heads, confusing them as Alex had determined that the murder victims didn't react to any of the usual monster tests. They eventually realize that the vampires are some of Michael's enhanced monsters that he sent to kill the assailant and get their spear after they injured him. The three find hooded person's camp where Dean recalls Michael was there with the hooded figure. Dean is soon attacked by the hooded person but in the struggle, their hood falls off, revealing their face as Kaia to the shocked hunters before she escapes. Sam listens as Dean states it might be Kaia from another world just like Castiel and Bobby's counterparts, they decide to go after her for answers. Once Dean ambushes the Alternate Kaia manages at an abandoned cabin, he soon knocked her out. Tying her up, they interrogate Kaia, they realize that she is indeed the alternate reality counterpart of their Kaia and she admits that Kaia's death was an accident as she was aiming for "the blonde one." Kaia refuses to explain how she opened up a rift between the worlds or where her spear is but remembers how Dean had once threatened the Main Universe Kaia with a gun to get her to comply. After Sam realizes she is also a dreamwalker, she confirms his theory. When Kaia refuses to give up the location of her spear, Dean threatens to torture her to get it, leading Kaia to taunt him that Dean is no better than Michael. Dean remembers that Michael approached Kaia to form an alliance, but she refused and attacked him instead. The interrogation is cut short by the arrival of four of Michael's enhanced vampires who demand Kaia and the spear. The hunters prove to be no match for the vampires, but Dean manages to shoot out the leg on Kaia's chair, freeing her in the hopes that she will help them. Instead, Kaia flees out a window but unexpectedly returns with her spear to kill the four vampires and save Dean, Sam, and Jody. Sam points out that Kaia saved them when she didn't have to, but she claims that by killing the werewolves she was only helping herself. Though the Winchesters warn her that if she keeps her spear, she will be a target for Michael's monsters, she departs saying that she has been running from monsters successfully all of her life.
In the aftermath, they part ways with Jody and Dean apologizes to Sam about being reckless before he relates his possession and calls it like clawing for air after being plunged in water. Sam is left worried about Dean since he is still experiencing bad effects from Michael.
During Mint Condition, Sam checks on Dean who hasn't come out of his room and he asks if he is alright. To get Dean back on his feet, Sam has him join on a case at a comic shop and he finds Dean getting excited about movies, jokingly calling him a geek. After the person attacked is sent to the hospital, Sam realizes it is a Vengeful Spirit and its possessing a mannequin of a movie villain. Sam informs the surprised comic shop owner Samantha about ghosts before they are attacked by the mannequin. Sam is knocked out and is told by Samantha that the ghost left.
He tries to figure out what's keeping the ghost tethered, as Samantha reveals the previous owner had a keychain that he kept. Sam tells her that she might be right. He breaks them out the shop and calls Dean to tell him the mannequin is coming.
In Nightmare Logic, Sam is still working as Dean approaches him on not resting since he has been running himself ragged. Sam and Dean receive a report that Maggie went missing and they go off to find her. At the funeral home (the spot she was last seen), they find their mother and Bobby Singer as well. They agree to work together, Bobby insulted Sam on his leadership before they split up with him and Mary going off. When Mary tries to comfort Sam, he acknowledged Bobby's point and brought up the attraction that the pair obviously had and Mary confirmed she does have feelings for him though is unsure since he is keeping her at arms length. Sam also told her that Bobby may have experienced a loss like the original Bobby and she hoped that he'd tell her.
After the daughter of the funeral owner mentions a monster, Sam comforts her as Dean tells them that he encountered a vampire but saw it die in a strange way and everyone wondered what was lurking about. Very soon, Sam went about the house and found Maggie being drained from a blood rig after he kills an illusion of a vampire. It is revealed that the monster was a Djinn named Neil who had been enhanced by Michael and has been acting as a trap for hunters but Dean kills him, ending his illusions.
Afterwards, he and Dean decide to get word out about Michael's enhanced monsters and traps for hunters. He and Dean talk about the endgame of a plan to stop the corrupt Archangel. Sam tells him that could get Kaia's spear but they will stop him.
During Optimism, Sam is contacted by Alternate Charlie for help on a case. Sam is skeptical but after she tells him of the mysterious findings such as goo and people disappearing, which clarifies its a supernatural creature.
They spot a cloaked figure dressed in a unusual manner, the two do research and think it might be a Musca. Afterwards, Sam requests to watch and see what happens before he learns Charlie wants to retire from hunting. Sam tries to persuade her not to go through with it, though listens to her reasons for wanting to do so as she wants a better life for herself on a new Earth. They learn more about the Musca and learn solitary members capture humans to build nest binding them together in a viscous goo. After tracking down a recent victim, they find him alive before being confronted by the monster, which they fight. Lacking the proper materials to kill it, they improvise with bullets and end its threat. They take the survivor to a hospital and learn he will live. Sam compares the loneliness the monster to the fate of Charlie's choice should she retire, something that causes her to reconsider before they share a joke.
In Unhuman Nature, Sam watches as Jack's condition worsens and rushed him to a hospital and the doctors diagnose his bodily functions as shutting down. The Winchesters and Castiel discharge Jack, as they search for ways to help. Sam also tells Castiel that the reason Dean is most upset is because he is guilty for how he treated Sam after birth. Later on, he contacts Rowena who at first is against helping the son of the devil, she is swayed when Jack talks to her and thanks her for her part in the Exodus from Apocalypse World. Rowena soon does her job and revealed that because Jack's grace is what holds his human and angel halves in balance, it is coming into conflict with each other, since his grace has been diminished causing his body to shut down progressively. Rowena determines the only way to revert that is for the Nephilim to recharge their grace. Realizing his days are limited, Jack resolved to get enjoyment out of his remaining time, Sam is concerned as Dean decides to help him by teaching him how to drive, by using the Impala and Jack is excited by it.
In Byzantium, Sam is sad when he hears that Jack is slowly dying and resigns to his fate and watches as Dean is not accepting of it and leaves the room. Jack asks Sam to tell Dean it'll be fine though Sam wants Jack to do it as he succumbs and dies. Sam told Dean and Castiel of it, with them being sad at the untimely end. Sam leaves the bunker to prepare a hunter's funeral for Jack but couldn't as Dean and Cass arrive. Sam tells Dean that he didn't make a deal like he thought and the group returned home and mourn Jack over beer. Sam later calls Lily in hopes that she can translate Kevin Tran's notes on the Angel Tablet and find something that can help them to bring back Jack. Lily, now an old woman due to no longer using her magic to keep herself young, is unable to read the notes, but suggests using her Enochian magic to save Jack. Lily proposes using a piece of Jack's own soul to sustain his body, but requests that in exchange, the Winchesters ensure her entry into Heaven. Lily explains that she has stopped using her magic as she still has a sliver of her soul left and when she dies, she wants to be reunited with her daughter in Heaven. The Winchesters help her summon Anubis who is amused to finally meet the brothers since they have an unlimited amount of deaths. He agrees to judge Lily's soul and Anubis' scales determine that Lily will go to Hell upon death and he insists that he can do nothing to change her fate. Anubis explains that a person's own choices during their life determine their final fate and the Winchesters are forced to let him go. Lily prepares to depart, but Sam begs her to stay and watches Dean implore her help them so that they won't have to suffer the loss of a child as she did. Lily finally agrees to stay and help. They prepare the the ritual to use Jack's soul and Dean prays to Castiel to notify him. After Castiel resurrects Jack, Sam quickly provides him with the incantation Lily wrote out and Jack completes the ritual, curing his condition. Unnoticed by anyone else, Lily suffers a heart attack moments after Jack's resurrection and she quietly sits in a chair and dies. The group celebrate Jack's return and prepare to go after Michael since the angels provided his location to Castiel.
During The Spear, Sam reveals that he had Garth infiltrate Michael's army to learn his plans. Sam later tells the others of Michael's plans to unleash his monster army on a city.
He and the others split up with him joining Jack on locating the Hyperbolic pulse generator while Dean and Cass go off to find the spear of Alternate Kaia.
At Michael's headquarters, Castiel is detected by the Archangel and confronted by him. Castiel attempts to attack him though he effortlessly overcomes his attacks. The Archangel drags the wounded angel to his office where Castiel watches as Dean attacks him while armed with the Spear. Castiel is relieved that it might finally end, when Dean overpowers him but behaves strangely by breaking the spear and Michael's vessel falls dead. Castiel is speechless when its revealed Michael has possessed Dean once more, having left a way to enter his body without consent. Castiel asked why he waited so long to take back control and is disgusted by Michael's desire to break Dean's spirit and locking him away to prevent his interference. Michael taunts Castiel and the rest of Team Free Will by telling them, nothing stands in his way now and his monsters are on the prowl awaiting his signal, which he soon gives with a snap of his fingers.
During Nihilism, Sam was angry at Michael's taunts and watched as Cass tried to attack Michael caught him. Helping Sam distracted him with a bottle of holy oil that allowed Castiel to cuff the archangel. Sam became worried as Michael's enhanced monsters started barging on the door as Cass and Jack tried to hold them off. Sam recalled that Billie had Reapers watching them and called Jessica to aid them in escaping, though Violet appeared instead. Sam realized Castiel and Jack couldn't see her but he and Michael could. Soon, the group were teleported to the bunker, away from the monsters.
Afterwards, they wondered on what to do about the threat as Michael taunted them about his ongoing threat. Sam ordered the Alternate Michael to be silent as they worked on a way to stop him. Sam was visibly worried as Maggie called him to reveal that Michael's monsters are terrorizing the city and many people are being slaughtered. He used the mind linking device to enter Dean's mind as Castiel joined him. After locating Dean and jogging him to his senses, they confronted Michael in Dean's mind and fought him but was overpowered, though helped in locking him away to prevent his evil from spreading.
As of Damaged Goods, Sam worries over Dean now that he knows Michael is within his mind and notices something up with him when given a hug. Sam tells his mother that's something Dean never does and soon deduces Dean's moves. After dealing with Nick and his revenge quest, Sam learns of Dean's plans to lock him and Michael away. Of course, Sam doesn't like the idea but decides to help.
During Prophet and Loss, Sam tries to talk Dean out of this mad course of action though Dean is insistent. Sam even breaks a promise to him by calling Castiel to tell him of the plan. When learning of Donatello Redfield's condition, they both share opposing views on it while discreetly relating it to Dean's intentions. After Donatello is healed, Sam relates it to what could happen if Dean doesn't give up but this doesn't sway Dean. At the end, Sam punches his brother before embracing him and mentions that Dean saved him from his fate in The End and persuades him to not give up and Dean thinks on it.
In Lebanon, they do normal cases and decide to use a charm to expel Michael from Dean's mind. However, this results in them bringing their father to the future and they happily update him on what's occurred before watching him reunite with Mary.
Very soon, Sam and John talk with the latter apologizing for turning him away when he went to college. Sam tells his father that he forgave him long ago and the only thing that saddened him was his death. Father and son shared a moment by hugging, finally making amends.
After the dinner, Sam shares one last embrace with John and Sam destroys the pearl and John disappears back to 2003. Sam was sadden to witness this but accepted that it was the right choice. Meanwhile, John wakes up in the Impala during 2003, seemingly believing the events were a dream, before telling Dean that he's coming home. Though John was sent back to the past, it is hinted that he still remembers everything and is pleased with the outcome.
As of Ouroboros, Sam and the others were on case for an elusive creature that they had been trailing for weeks with help from Rowena. Later on break, Sam later calls Maggie who tells him that the lore states that a gorgon can only be killed via decapitation with a silver blade. Maggie updates Sam that his mother is on her way from home from a case in Oregon and that things are quiet at the bunker.
Afterwards, Dean and Cass report that that the Gorgon Noah Ophis left a note that said he saw Sam and Rowena with Dean before telling them to back off. From this, Sam realized that Noah can't see Cass or Jack as angels aren't affected by it. Using this to their advantage, they decide to send the pair to confront him. Sam and Rowena change Jack into a dog and pretending to be an arguing married couple to get the antidote for Noah's paralysis. Sam briefly explains how Jack pulled through. Once Noah tries to escape after fighting Cass and Jack, Sam and Dean arrived where they met Noah formally, checking on Cass and seeing him paralyzed, Sam attacks him but is knocked aside along with Dean. Sam checks on his brother after Noah bashed his head on a counter, knocking him out. With the hunters occupied, Noah tried to escape but is promptly beheaded by Jack, who slipped away and ends his killing spree.
As a result of being knocked out by a Gorgon, Sam is worried as Dean starts acting erratically and shakes before falling concentration on his mind and Michael was able to escape his mind. After Dean woke up, Sam questioned him on his behavior before Dean revealed he lost his concentration and Michael escaped. Sam is shocked and Dean states that they should have sealed him away in the box before they hear screaming. The group witnessed Michael slaughter the hunters in the bunker in Rowena's body. Michael taunted the Winchesters on not sealing him away in the box but Dean wanted to do so anyway and told Sam to get the cuffs for the enemy though Michael tortured them. Sam was saved by Jack and witnessed him fight Michael and expel him from Rowena, before incinerating him and taking his grace to replenish his own. Sam was shocked to see Jack was normal and that the world is now forever freed of Michael's influence.