Tbh I think it’s plot device because most of SPN is Dean’s pov so writers throw out character growth and “look, manufactured drama!” in season 8, which led us to one of the most heart wrenching confession in any finale and rewatching that church scene over and over and over again.
Season 9 saw Dean NOT blaming Sam for anything so it’s back to character growth.
*make up your mind writers*
If you’re saying that season eight was a clusterfuck of manufactured drama, then yes, I agree.
If they could just talk to each other like functioning human beings, they could have avoided 98% of the season’s bullshit, but the fact that they can’t/won’t talk to each other doesn’t seem entirely manufactured to me. I mean, I have hefty problems with the way late seasons have been handled, but I’m not sure communication breakdown is one of them, for me.
It’s not about Sam’s magical capacity for forgiveness while Dean’s just a big meanie. Dean doesn’t forgive Sam because he can’t actually blame him, and not “can’t” as in Sam is blameless - whether he is or not is besides the point. Dean is mentally barred from fully blaming Sam for anything, because he’s been made responsible for Sam’s choices, something which has only been reinforced over the years when it’s not simply being ignored. However angry Dean might get at Sam, there’s the underlying principle by which he operates: if Sam does something wrong, it’s Dean’s fault for failing to prevent it. So he can’t blame Sam without blaming himself, which is intrinsically unfair, but it’s part of why Dean never fully addresses his issues with Sam, or he throws something in Sam’s face only to completely shut it down in the next moment. His frustration comes out in these passive-aggressive bursts because by his logic, it’s illogical to be angry with Sam, yet he still is angry, but he can’t be, so he’s not, but he is. He wants to address it, but he can’t because it’s his fault, but it’s not his fault, it’s Sam’s, but it’s not Sam’s, so he can’t be angry, but he is…
Dean has to allow himself to be fully angry, to separate himself from Sam and Sam from himself, so he can be purely angry at just Sam and not himself, blame just Sam, not himself, before he can realize that he’s not actually angry at Sam, that Sam doesn’t deserve to be blamed and neither does Dean. It’s just these feeling go in a circle like a buzz saw and cut into whoever happens to be in the way, be it Sam or Dean himself.
The person Dean needs to be angry with, the real anger that needs to be processed, is his anger with John for making him responsible for Sam in the first place. It’s not Sam’s fault Dean doesn’t trust him: it’s John’s. He put that rift in their relationship decades ago. He didn’t do it on purpose, but it’s what he did. Dean does know this and he touched on it to his projected demon self in s3. Now that that has actually come to pass it looks like we may see that manifesting a little more based on the way Dean is treating “his father’s” car, his father’s memory. He needs to be allowed to be angry before he can begin to let it go.
That’s a good point. I’ve touched on that idea before too that Dean thinks that he is responsible for Sam’s actions because John made him responsible for Sam. He’s responsible because he’s responsible, however illogical it may be, it was drilled into him as a child, so logic has no place in it. Dean’s job was to look out for Sam, make sure he did what he was supposed to do. So, yeah, he shouldn’t be mad at Sam for making mistakes or being acted on by outside forces for fuck’s sake or at himself for allowing those things to happen. He should be mad at his father for making Sam his responsibility.