I feel I should part with a nasty secret. I always get performance anxiety when I do a review of a Ben Edlund episode...will I be able to do the episode justice? Will I only miss a little of the imagery I wanted to talk about?
So much was going on in this episode that I just wanted to sing out loud. Then scream and go cross eyed...On first watch, I really loved finding out more about Benny and Dean and Amelia and Sam, but I couldn’t stop re-watching! So much information is given on the brothers’ own relationships -- both with each other and juxtaposing past relationships and...I think I need a drink...Or at least another cup of coffee...
Like the episode a couple weeks ago of "Revolution" inspired me to write a sonnet about Miles, I have decided to write a sonnet to Ben Edlund. I’m sure a Purgatory!Dean sonnet will soon follow, but I need to get to the review! I’ll get that next time...so here goes my sonnet to Ben:
A Sonnet to Ben Edlund
Oh Ben, I love your crazy hair and mind
and when the credits show your name I squee
you know our Sam and Dean where some are blind
your multi meaning stories give me glee.
You understand my Dean like no one else.
And Sam you give a splendiferous glow
and for the whole hour I check my pulse
and practice breathing in attempt to slow
My heart, it races as I watch the screen
the twists and turns you show with so much flare
like how much smokin’ hotness is the Dean
of Purgatory and Sam’s stalkery stare
But above all the rest of what we learn
the bonds of brothers, blood and not, we yearn.
In case you didn’t catch it, this episode was written by Ben Edlund. He has written masterful episodes such as “The Man Who Would Be King” and also super funny episodes like “Clap Your Hands if You Believe”. Ben is so wonderful at using comedy when it is needed, and keeping it heavy and full of meaning when the story calls for that, instead. He is such a magnificent writer, I would love to meet him and potentially absorb some of his skill through touch...May I also say that Sam and Dean (and Benny and Cas, too) looked amazingly hot this episode? I mean smoking. Everybody. Part of that I can’t help but think has to do with one of our favorite directors, Guy Bee, being on the job this episode. Jared and Jensen just have so much chemistry that Sam and Dean can have full conversations without saying a word, and Guy knows just how to show that on film. The whole episode was beautifully shot, but that last scene killed me. I want to know how that conversation went about Benny. Instead, we went to credits... WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST END IT WITH THEM ACTUALLY GOING OVER A CLIFF, GUY AND BEN??? HUH??? Yes, that much tension. And now we have to wait until next week to HOPEFULLY see a little bit about what happened there....
The Winchesters are fairly certain that Kevin is purposely throwing them off the track now. He is really putting his high I.Q. to work for him and his mother, who gave Sam and Dean the slip when Crowley stole back the “demon” tablet. While they are getting situated, Dean receives a call from Benny--who he apparently has NOT mentioned to Sam. Benny has gotten himself in trouble working the vengeance gig on his maker for killing the love of his life. In true Dean fashion, Dean heads off to help his friend in need, leaving Sam to research where in the world is Kevin Tran. Sam goes a little stir crazy and a lot “mother hen” worried about what Dean is up to...
Trouble in Paradise? Kevin is so playing with them.
And on to the analysis...
So much love for this episode. There is just so much I want to hit, that I’m having a tough time figuring out where to begin! That and because my ADD is showing with my incessant need to check out twitter to see what is being said about hot Purgatory!Dean and how sexy Sam is now that he is all Mr. Fix-it. Sammy, you can check on my plumbing and stalk me ANY TIME.
See, let it be said that although I am 100% a Dean Girl, I am totally Sam-Curious...I mean JUST LOOK AT HIM. And that fact that he is well over a foot taller than I am, that height thing has me curious...MOVING ALONG...
I guess I will start at the beginning of the episode with Benny out for vengeance on his old nest for killing the love of his life as well as him...First off, Quentin? I wonder if Ben meant that as a little bit of a "Dark Shadows" reference. In the last episode, “Bitten” we had a “Michael” whose coming to terms with being a werewolf was not unlike Michael in "The Lost Boys" coming to terms with being a vampire. Quentin Collins was the werewolf in the Collins family--of course the most famous Collins would be the vampire Barnabas...Just thought I’d throw that out there...
I loved the family imagery here. We actually see it a few times through Benny. I loved finding out more about the Benny storyline. The more I see about Benny, the more like Sam he seems to me. He left his family for a woman. He did the nest thing--did what was best for the nest, but then he met this woman and left the nest for her. Now Sam didn’t leave hunting for Jess, he was trying to leave it before...but we do get the idea that he wasn’t sure what he was doing, or even if he was going to quit hunting until he found Amelia. What I found most interesting about this whole thing was how Benny changed about Andrea...He was upset she was turned, and he didn’t question Dean putting her down. He even admits to her that what he loved was long gone. Benny realized that what he found in Andrea, what he was in love with, was her humanity. Once that was gone, once she was just another one of them, what he loved about her was gone, too. I wonder if we have some foreshadowing here with Sam. He has romanticized what there life together was. I wonder how much about his past he told her. I wonder if he has hidden all of this from her because what he loves about her is that normalcy, that innocence he was never allowed to have. Would her knowing the truth ruin their love? I guess we need to know more about what he told her for me to dig any deeper into that...
The other thing I loved was seeing Dean play peacemaker again. We saw this in the scenes in Purgatory. Between hot fight scenes, Dean had to stand between Benny and Cas, in a very similar fashion to the way he had to stand between John and Sam. Dean’s always played that role of trying to get people to understand each other. He always seems to be able to understand others. Even though sometimes he is harsh with what he says (both of these things, by the way, are apparently typical Aquarian reactions. The harshness is because we lack internal monologue. Every Aquarian I know has this problem), he always has an understanding of other people and where they are coming from, even if it is a situation he hasn’t really been in himself.
Benny showed another Sam element with him telling Dean he didn’t even know “if this world is real”. It was a real Season Seven moment with Dean trying to convince him. With Dean, he seems to understand that you have to go with what you have. You can’t question that. We know from Benny’s conversation with “the old man” that Benny always was examining life and the meaning of it all. It would make sense Benny and Dean would become friends in Purgatory. Benny needed someone who could tell him that what is just is and you have to start there...and Dean needed someone to show him the importance of looking deeper sometimes. So in Purgatory, Dean found a Sam offset!
Likewise, Sam found a Dean offset in Amelia, I think. I have to admit that after the first two showings of Amelia I was not impressed. This time though, I actually started to like her. I understand her now through the backstory. She is abrasive to push people away. Clearly she is afraid of being hurt. She is living in a motel because she hasn’t found a place, but I think Sam understood the truth--she may think that it is because she just hasn’t found a place she wants to live in yet, but in actuality she’s keeping an easy escape route incase things don’t work out. She doesn’t even know the people who run the motel she has been staying at for three months. She isn’t trying to find friends. She is just in her apartment alone when she’s not at work from the looks of it. She has no one, and doesn’t know where she is going. Actually, I can really relate to that...It’s kind of scary how much I can relate to that...and here I was just having the conversation that I’m more like Sam...Oh, wait. Sam doesn’t have anyone or know where he is going either!
Sam’s memories are showing us how she unfolded to him...Abrasive at first, but Sam being Sam, will look deeper--I mean, he loves his brother and knows how wonderful Dean is...We’re slowly getting to see what Sam saw--that she had built a wall to protect herself, and maybe since neither one of them have anyone or know where they are going, they can create something together...
Of course all of that has changed now, and that was another wonderful piece we were given in the episode. As much as Sam spoke out to Dean earlier about how maybe Dean should be driving around in the Impala alone, without him, we see Sam’s reaction to Dean potentially being in danger. Sam wouldn’t leave Dean alone when he knew Dean was out there without him. As soon as he knew what Dean was doing he was on the road. I loved that moment when Sam cannot reach Dean on the phone so he throws the phone and steps on the gas with determination. He isn’t going to lose Dean again.
Western reference...There were moments in Purgatory where Dean reminded me of Doc Holliday. Especially that part in "Tombstone" when Doc is asked why he would help Wyatt. He said it was because Wyatt was his friend. “Shit, I’ve got lots of friends.” “I don’t.” Doc didn’t have a lot of friends, but those people he called “friends” meant the world to him. Sam mentions how all of Dean’s friends are dead. When Dean wants to know what is up with Benny, and he won’t take “you’ve saved the day” as an answer, Benny comments on Dean’s thing with friends. Dean also trusted Cas even when Sam and Bobby seriously questioned him, until Cas proved him wrong. There is just no end to what Dean will do for a friend. Just another thing I love about this man. Like Purgatory is pure, Dean’s feelings are pure. You know where you stand with him. He will do anything for you if he counts you as a friend.
Speaking of Cas, I saw some people commenting on Cas’s vessel, Jimmy, and how it didn’t make sense that Benny could escape Purgatory and Cas wouldn’t be able to. I didn’t have a problem with that. I really don’t think there is anything of Jimmy left. For all intents and purposes, I think he’s dead. First off, he was dying when Cas took his body that last time. The decision was made to permanently bond with Cas. When Lucifer blew up Cas like a water balloon, I feel like God put him back into the Jimmy form because Cas liked that form (and we like Misha)...So I don’t think it’s the same deal. Besides, Benny is only a soul in Purgatory (given form kind of like a holodeck sparring partner that actually sparred like in TNG) and Cas is a bodied angel. Somehow Cas will find a way out (I have full faith in that), but in some other way. So many little snippets about Cas--I really want to find out what happened there! What is going to happen in the future!
Other moments of fangirl glee included the leviathans appearing in Purgatory! They reminded me of a Matrix-y version of Death Eaters emerging. So much love for that.
Vampirates? Oh, Dean. That will NEVER get old...
I’m sure I could go on for hours more, but it’s almost 2am and I have my convention report and my "Revolution" review to do still this weekend! Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought of the episode! Screencaps from http://homeofthenutty.com/supernatural/screencaps.
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