Wednesday night the mid season finale aired and quite a bit is out in the open! After seeing how civil the brothers have been to each other the last couple of episodes, we see a bit of that eruption we have been expecting!
Daniel Loflin wrote this one alone. Andrew Dabb wrote Hunteri Heroici. Since they’ve been writing SPN forever, I suppose it was time for them to get to write their own episodes. I did thoroughly enjoy the script on this one--although I was a little disappointed in both brothers for their underhanded trickiness. The episode was directed by Nick Copus, who has directed quite a few episodes of Nikita and the SyFy Original Series Alphas.
Unbeknownst to Dean, Sam decided to have Benny tailed. He put Martin Creaser, the hunter turned psych ward patient (“Sam, Interrupted”), now out, on the case with explicit instructions to only watch and report. Sam gets a call from Martin--Benny is up to no good. Dean is dubious, but agrees that if Benny has gone back to live kill, they should look into it. After hearing Martin’s side of events, Dean is not convinced and asks to do his own investigation. Sam gives Dean a couple hours to do so. Dean comes back with news that there is a rogue vampire in the area that is doing the killing. Sam is now unconvinced that his brother is seeing what is really going on, but Martin is just plain livid...
And on to the analysis...
I think one of the things I always wonder about is why certain characters are brought back. Some appear to be because the fans just loved the characters so much. This was not one of those characters. At least not in my opinion. Martin Creaser was a hunter that was inpatient in the psych ward in “Sam, Interrupted”. He showed us that this job as a hunter really was a mind frak and that if you didn’t get killed, you went crazy instead. He has since been let out. Sam, feeling sorry for him, decided to give him work--or at least that is the way Sam phrased it...I think that because Martin had been inpatient, and had shown himself to be fairly fragile when they met with him, Sam felt that he had some level of control over Martin. If he told Martin to only observe and report, Martin would only observe and report.
I’m not saying that Sam was being controlling--actually it would make sense for Sam to use someone that he felt would be obligated to do what he wanted him to do and wouldn’t think too much for himself. After all, Sam is sticking someone on the one person who helped Dean get out of Purgatory. Dean trusts Benny, and for what that’s worth (in Sam’s opinion), I’m sure Sam on some level wants to give Benny the benefit of the doubt. I think Sam knows that if he told any other hunter about Benny he/she would just go down to Louisiana and try to kill him. The fact that he was a vampire would be enough to warrant death in the eyes of most hunters.
Because of this, even though a part of me is screaming “How could Sam have given Martin any responsibility at all!” and that “He must have known Martin would botch things up!”, most of me knows that Sam, being Sam would want to make sure that Dean isn’t allowing himself to be swayed. Sam remembers how badly it turned out when he trusted a demon (see Season Four, with particularly evil end in “Lucifer Rising”).
One thing that I think was important about using another hunter in this episode is that it makes us focus on how different Sam and Dean really are from “typical hunters”. Not that all hunters are Martin crazy, but his craziness pretty much just makes him blab out what he is thinking as if he has no internal monologue. All hunters have their unique flare, some more interesting than others, but I think what we are supposed to see here is that even though Martin is overly, well, crazy about his convictions, his thoughts are probably not that far off from what the run of the mill hunter would think in a similar situation.
Another thing about Martin--as crazy as Martin was, I think that Sam was right in that Martin probably was the most easily controlled hunter Sam could have used. If Sam hadn’t hopped in the car and left Martin alone, I really don’t think things would have turned out as they did.
Which leads me to Dean’s shenanigans...When Sam went to the actual text and called from there and got Dean, my jaw dropped a little. I knew it was a set up and that Sam was going to go all the way to Amelia’s and find out she didn’t call him, but I didn’t really expect Dean to have been the one to orchestrate that. I’ll admit I was turned on by Dean’s resourcefulness. O.K., when am I NOT turned on by Dean? But you have to admit that whole phone thing was quite ingenious. Chances are the thought didn’t even cross Sam’s mind that Dean could do that...even though Dean has shown himself to be quite intelligent (see the home made EMF Detector in “Phantom Traveler” for example). Dean said that was the only way he could get Sam to back off. Meaning, he knew Sam well enough to know that if Amelia needed him, Sam would come running.
I found Sam’s comment on how Dean knew she was going to be fine interesting. Dean said no, he didn’t. Meaning he has not been checking in on Amelia or had anyone else check on her. Sam seemed to assume that Dean had checked into Amelia and would know how Amelia was probably because he had checked into Benny.
I wonder the can of worms that has now been opened. The episode ended with Amelia going to the bar because she heard Sam outside. Does Amelia want Sam back? Does she want to tell him that she’s happy with Don?
But back to the brothers, because these things have really shown that right now, they are not on the same page. We saw clearly in this episode that what Dean said under avenging ghost control was just a more harsh version of how he really felt. Sam seemed hurt by the fact that Dean said that Benny is the only person who has never let him down. Sam’s “Well, good on you Dean, to finally find someone you can trust after all these years.” was so bitter. Particularly harsh was the idea that Dean said what he said about Benny being the only one to never let him down it in front of someone NOT his brother. Martin saw a rift between them, with Dean trusting a monster over his own brother. Martin’s crazy speak really could represent Sam’s own subconscious feelings on this. That sure, he’s done wrong, but Benny is a monster who has killed countless people and was finally put down. Dean had to do what he had to do when he was in Purgatory, but being home now, he should be back to “monster bad, waitress pretty”. With the exception of having Benny tailed, I was actually surprised about how understanding Sam seemed to be. He really was tiptoeing lightly around the Benny thing. It seems to me like he probably was hoping that Martin wouldn’t find anything. If Sam had REALLY wanted to take out Benny, wouldn’t have have lied to Dean and gone and met Martin by himself in Louisiana and not told Dean about it?
But Sam up and leaving Martin was irresponsible. He just totally ditched him and took off. Amelia would know texting Sam isn’t like texting someone down the street to come over! According to Mapquest, Kermit is practically in New Mexico...so the OTHER SIDE of Texas from Louisiana. It would take him hours to get there. And Amelia wouldn’t have had any way of knowing he was even about ten hours away. He could have been in Massachusetts or Oregon for all she knew. Sam was just so blinded though, he wasn’t thinking straight. Because Martin was left alone, Martin went and did something stupid, and then used a human as bait. That was harsh, and he totally got what he deserved, but now we have the stress of Sam hanging up on Dean! He only knows that Martin is dead. I wonder if Sam blames himself for Martin’s death (for bringing Martin in and then ditching him), or if he has deflected some of that blame on Dean for knowing him (Sam) well enough to know the text scheme would work and for doing it to get him out of the way. Likewise with Dean, I wonder if he has looked past the fact that Martin did something horrible and got what he deserved, and feels he has some culpability in this, or if he blames Sam for bringing in Martin.
Side note on Martin...Did anyone else find it slightly odd that he would know about Occam’s razor? The wiki definition states: “It is a principle stating that among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected.” As odd as I thought it was to hear Martin mention it, the situation, and Dean’s unwillingness to utilize it, reminded me of Mulder. Well, it wasn’t an episode Mulder was in, but in X-Files 8x04 episode entitled “Patience” this exchange took place:
Doggett: The more basic answer is what we’re dealing with here is simply a man. A psychotic killer with a deformed foot. You’re familiar with the principle of Occam’s Razor?
Scully: Yeah. You take every possible explanation and you choose the simplest one. Agent Mulder used to refer to it as “Occam’s Principle of Limited Imagination”.
In many ways, Sam seems the Scully, think too much, feels fighting someone else’s quest personality. Dean has more of the Mulder, focused, obsessive, driven personality. Here again, we have Dean NOT utilizing Occam’s Razor principle.
And now, it’s time for a theory...After the last episode, I was a little concerned that maybe Sam’s year was in his head, but not any more. I’m fairly confident that Amelia is flesh and blood...but I do still have a theory about stuff though...I am wondering if the angels resurrected Don to get the band back together after Dean escaped Purgatory. I’m not sure about motivations on that...maybe that Dean is the wild card they worried about. Maybe that they never could control Dean. Maybe Sam did something unexpected in going to a normal life and once Dean got out, they had a way to get Sam hunting again so they just made it so he didn’t have a reason to stay with Amelia. There is always the possibility that the angels still want to bring about the end of days and need both Winchesters to do it...I just feel that Don being found and then Sam leaving right then and BAM, Dean’s up at the cabin (now Jim’s comment that Sam didn’t know Dean was going to be up there seems like it might actually make sense) just the whole thing feels wayyyy too coincidental. My freshman year English Composition professor used to say “If you believe in coincidences, you’re just not paying attention."
I haven’t really mentioned Benny, but I am so glad it wasn’t his body dead on the floor of the gumbo shack. Or what would you call a dead vampire? Would one find a vampire’s body re-dead? Anyhoo, glad that didn’t happen. I’m really digging Benny so far. Ty is easy on the eyes and Benny is likeable. Which of course will just rip out our guts when they have him go all evil undead on us...something I’m hoping doesn’t happen, but I am wondering if there is going to be some backlash from what happened with Martin. Dean told Benny he is going to have to go deep, so I don’t necessarily mean hunters. I’m just thinking about if he had fresh human blood again--if he had some of Martin’s blood--will he be able to go back to blood bank blood, or will he now find that unsatisfying? Will Sam and Dean have to take him out?
Also interesting to note that after all the fanfare of Citizen Kane’s final word at his death, and journalists failing to find out just what “Rosebud” alluded to, the audience learns at the end it was the name of his childhood sled. The sled represented the only time in his life he was truly happy (or so theory holds per wikipedia). Benny, as Citizen Fang has come back to his roots in an attempt to find happiness again.
So...now what about Sam and Dean? It looks from the promo like they’re apart again! Not surprising with the way Sam ended the call. Cas to the rescue on this! Will we finally find out some of Captain Carter...erm, Naomi’s end game? We know she is dangling these “meetings” as a way for Cas to get back into Heaven, but what is she doing with this information. What is she planning? What is she looking for? Who is she looking for? Metatron? Is she Metatron?
What I have found very interesting about this season is that it seems pretty clear that there is a definite plan at work regarding what is going on, but it seems like just when you hope to fit in a little piece, you find out that the puzzle is much larger than you thought it was!
A side observation--one of my friends who watches SPN pointed out Dean’s drawl in the gumbo shack talking to Elizabeth! I didn’t even notice, but she texted me about it. My comment--”Was Jensen’s Texas showing?”
I have a fascination with CCR, so it was cool hearing “Born on a Bayou”! We also heard “Feel Alright” by Steve Earle in the episode. Dean listened to some country while in the car.
We don’t get a new episode until mid January, but that shouldn’t stop us from theorizing the crazy out of this! Let me know what your thoughts are on this episode and the first half of the season!
Screencaps from http://homeofthenutty.com/supernatural/screencaps
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