Season 8 Episode 6
Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
(Note From Alice - This is late because of an email communications problem. The review didn’t make it to me until today! Our apologies for the delay).
On to the episode!
Dean and Sam have their long-delayed “talk” about what's bothering them. Sam wants to know why Benny is still breathing--remember Amy? They let Kate go. “People do change,” Dean says, “look at you, you turned your phone off for a year.” Sam angrily tells him not to turn this back on him.
A woman murders Chester, her husband, by dropping a car on top of him in a jealous rage, but she doesn't remember anything about it except blind rage. To the brothers' dismay, they arrive at the crime scene to find their long lost cohort, aka Texas ranger, aka bugger Garth already on the job. He answers one of three phones in his pocket, doing Bobby's job. “Shut your mouth,” says Dean, not liking this at all, or the idea that Garth has taken up Bobby's slack with green hunters needing help.
As for this case, according to the couple's son, there were no marital problems, Mom wasn't hearing voices. Sam finds no EMF or trace of sulfur, but they DID find green ectoplasm, which Garth tastes. Alcott was carved into the deceased's chest with wife's fingernails; the wife blanked out, remembering only bits and pieces. This makes Garth giggle. Rage is all she remembers. Turns out Alcott was hubby's prom date.
They grab a bite first. Over food, Dean reveals he was in Purgatory. Garth confesses he was a dentist for a hot minute and ganked the tooth fairy.
Scott, sitting in his truck, takes a hit of his inhaler, and when he enters a store, green ectoplasm is running from his ear. He runs into Jeff, a guy who owes him money, tosses hot coffee in his face, and kills him with a shovel, demanding his money back. In the store's security mirror, we see a ghost, wearing an ancient uniform, appear, his face ugly and angry.
Sam and Dean stand over the corpse. So first mom goes Natural Born Killer, and now the son? observes Dean. Written in blood on the freezer case is SUSSEX. Dean yanks Bobby's cap off Garth's head, “That's not how you wear it!” All Scott remembers is rage, and, oddly, his whole head is obliterated on the security tape.
Sam goes to question Sarah Alcott Brown. They did go to prom, she wasn't a "good" girl, and she thought she and Chester were going to be hot and heavy, but that didn't happen--he eloped with Mary, who kept him on a pretty short leash. In Mary's mind, I was a reminder of Chester's betrayal, says Sarah.
Flashback: Sam and Amelia are in bed in her apartment. They confess to each other that it's been a long time since they let each other go like that. Her husband enlisted without telling her and was killed. She was a mess--”...and then you hit a dog.”
Garth and Dean are doing computer research. Garth reaches for a beer, but Dean stops him, reminding him that he had to pick him up off the floor last time he drank beer. Garth fondly calls him idjit, but Dean says that's supposed to be used in anger--butch it! Garth notes how tense Sam and Dean are around each other and offers to help--like Bobby. Dean goes off on him, “You're not and never will be Bobby!” Getting teary-eyed, Garth reminds Dean that Bobby belonged to all of them, and he's trying to use what Bobby taught him. Dean finds that Sussex is a business owned by Jeff and Scott. Garth digs up in Bobby’s journal that they are dealing with a spectre, an avenging ghost that possesses you and finds out what betrayals you're feeling and forces you to act on them.
They go to the Confederate Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Garth knows this stuff because he performs in Civil War re-enactments. “Don't hate,” he says. The guard is ceremonial and will leave at dusk. “Burning Confederate bones in a town full of rednecks?” Sam asks, “Sure!”
They return at night, flashlights in hand, and enter the tomb. Garth marvels over the worth of the hardware, and Dean wonders why those who broke in didn't take it. Garth feels obligated to say something before they salt and burn, so Dean jibes, "We won," and throws in the match. (Bwah!)
At the police station, Scott has an asthma attack and gasps a request for his inhaler. Unfortunately, just handling the inhaler gets the deputy possessed by the spectre, and he grabs a shotgun, points it at his boss, and sneers, "Why don't you write your own reports, Sheriff!"
At the crime scene, where green ecto trails over the tape dispenser on the Sheriff's desk, Dean wonders if they torched the wrong redneck. “Maybe the kids who robbed the grave took a cursed object from it?” They question the deputy, who said the guy who stopped him after the shooting went to the hospital, which is where Dean is going. He sends Sam and Garth back to the tomb.
The armed man, reflected in a side view mirror, is definitely a Confederate soldier now.
Garth assures Sam he's here to talk to him, about life, Dean, you. “I'm ok,” thanks, says Sam. “Seems like you're both talkin, but nobody's listenin,” Garth says.
Flashback: Sam is still in bed, Amelia, dressed, tells him to lock up when he leaves. She doesn't want him to get the wrong idea. “I know I said a lot of things last night, and I know I can't ask you to forget them, just do--I don't need your pity.” Sam is glad she told him about Don, it helps him to know her better, but he doesn't pity her. Amelia doesn't believe him and leaves him sitting alone in her bed.
Sam and Garth go to do research, despite a gal reminding them there's a reason it's the UNKNOWN soldier.
The deputy tries to gun down a doctor in a hospital for calling him out when he was an umpire years ago, but, as Dean says, "Looks like you're shootin blanks." Dean punches him, but the deputy punches him back, seemingly a lot stronger.
Sam and Garth learn about a pair of brothers, the Collins’, who fought on opposite sides in the Civil War. Vance swore vengeance on his brother with his dying breath. Years later, consumed by guilt, the Corporal dug his brother up where he buried him on the battlefield and brought him home. One theory is that this Vance guy is the Unknown Soldier.
While the deputy (the spectre likes Dean) is beating the crap out of Dean, Sam and Garth learn from the librarian that many soldiers wore a penny around their necks. Sam calls Dean's cell and leaves a message to report this just as the deputy presses something into the palm of Dean's hand.
When Sam and Garth find Dean, he's sitting in a chair, ectoplasm running from his ear. He rises and points a gun at Sam. "You should have looked for me when I was in Purgatory," he says angrily.
Three days ago, a montage shows coin's trail of terror, all to “Fell on Black Days” by Soundgarden. “You never wanted this life, always blamed me for pulling you back into it.” “Not true,” Sam insists. “Everything you'e done since you climbed into my ride has been to deceive me,” accuses Dean. “I've made mistakes,” admits Sam. Dean totes up Sammy's greatest hits of mistakes. “Drinking demon blood, in cahoots with Ruby, not telling me that you lost your soul, or how about running around with Samuel for a whole year lettin’ me think that you were dead while you were doin all kinds of crazy--those aren't mistakes, Sam, those are choices!” “All right,” agrees Sam, “you said it, we both played a little fast and loose.” “I never once betrayed you,” says Dean, “never once left you to die--and for what?--you left me to die for a girl?”
Sam takes the opportunity to grab hold of Dean's hand holding the gun and punch him. They battle, punching each other, but Sam ends up sprawled on the floor, nose bleeding, Dean still holding the gun. Garth gets between them. "Garth, don't!" protests Sam. "He won't kill me,"Garth says, "his beef isn't with me--you aren't going to shoot me, are you, Dean? Come on, Dean, you do not want to kill your brother; you've been protecting him your whole life." "He left me to rot in Purgatory!" Dean explodes. Garth is sure he had his reasons. "Just like you had your reasons for Benny," says Sam. (low blow, but deserved). “Who?” Asks Garth. “Benny's been more of a brother to me this past year than you've EVER been!” Dean cries, “That's right, Cas let me down, you let me down, the only person who hasn't let me down is Benny.” Garth begs Dean to fight this thing, to let it go. "Goodbye, Sam," says Dean, about to shoot his brother. Garth punches Dean, forcing him to drop both the gun and the penny. Garth nurses his injured hand from the punch and picks up the coin and the gun. I'm cool, he assures the brothers. Dean, dazed, wipes green ectoplasm from his ear.
Garth tells Dean it took forever to melt the penny, but it's finally gone. Dean doesn't understand why the penny didn't affect Garth like it did everyone else. Garth let's everything go, thanks to his Yogi and Sega Genesis. “Stop bein an idjit,” Garth orders, “With Bobby dead, you and Sam are all each other has, and that's not so bad, man.” He hugs him, and Dean returns Bobby's cap and tells him to keep on truckin'. When his ride won't start, Garth slams on the steering wheel and yells "BALLS!" in a Bobby-like manner then it does, and he takes off.
Flashback: Sam knocks on Amelia's door and tells her, "We're a lot of things, but we're not to be pitied. I lost my brother, Dean, a few months ago. It felt like my world imploded, and I ran, just like you." "Is that supposed to be a pep talk? Amelia asks, "because now I pity you." She invites him in. "That wasn't my point,"says Sam. "Bell’s rang on that one," she says, "so..." They sit on the sofa and she pours booze for them. "So what now?" he asks. She doesn't know--"You wanna talk about it?" "Last night? Sam asks. "Dean, you pervert," she teases. "Yeah, I'd like that," he says, "do you want to talk about Don?" he covers her hand and says, "Hey, I'd like that, too." she covers his hand with hers.
Outside, in a stern voice, Sam tells Dean, "For the record, it's a girl, her name's Amelia, Amelia Richardson--she and I had a place together in Kermit, Texas." Dean doesn't even remember what he said. “Please,” says Sam, “you know damn well you didn't need a penny to say those things. I told you from the jump where I was coming from, why I didn't look for you, you had secrets, you had Benny, 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. I just might be that hunter that runs into Benny one day and ices him.” “I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, won't we?” says Dean. “You keep sayin that,” says Sam.
So, we learned more about how Sam and Amelia got together. She lost Don and Sam lost Dean, they were sad and lonely and needed companionship and love. It almost seems as if his hitting the dog and her being a vet was kismet, huh? Like Riot played matchmaker for them? I liked the way he told her he didn't think either of them are pitiable, then she told him she was pitying him, but invited him in for a drink and it seems as if they stayed together from then on. Two wounded animals who found each other and healed together. I sure wish Dean would cut Sam some slack. And I wish Sam would do the same for Dean as far as Benny is concerned. Of course, I understand Sam being wary, Benny being a vamp and all.
I liked this episode. It wasn't fantastic. I don't like Garth all that much and doubt I ever will. I'm warming up to him, but doubt I'll ever be a big Garth fan. I give this ep a 6.
1. Yay or nay on this ep?
2. How are you feeling about Amelia now? Did they go from fooling around to falling in love? Pity sex to love? I like her. She's sassy and a vet. As an animal lover, I love her for that alone.
3. This ep reminded me of the one with the siren, when Sam and Dean both told how they felt about each other and were willing to kill each other for the love of the siren. Except this time, only Dean was affected, and he was more than willing to kill Sam while that coin was in his hand.
4. Are you a Garth fan? How did you like him in this ep? I thought he did a great job of saving Sam's life from Dean's murderous rage, but he's such a nebbish.
5. What's your opinion of our Monster of the Week? I was also reminded of the brothers in the land drowning episodes and the ghost ship while watching this one.
Some personal information about me, folks, skip if you would prefer not to know.
A few weeks ago, I learned why my back has been hurting so badly for the last few years, and why the pain has been getting worse.
I consulted with a spinal deformity surgeon recommended by my neurosurgeon. I've had a bad back since I was 15 and slipped a disc in my lower back helping my mom carry a console TV set upstairs. I had surgery when I was 20, but the surgeon kind of screwed it up, so not only did I continue having pain in my lower back, I slipped a disc in my neck, too.
Fast forward to now. I have a condition called Flat Back Syndrome. On 11/30, I will get part one of a two part, massive surgical procedure to correct it. There will be rods and other titanium implements inserted into my spine. Part two of my surgery takes part on 12/5.
I'm scared, friends. Terrified! I might be paralyzed. I might die. I might end up in more pain than I'm in now. The thing is, I'm in so much pain now, and relying on powerful painkillers to get through my days, I know I must do SOMETHING. I've tried chiropractors, physical therapy, pain management clinics, shots in my back--all the alternatives--and nothing has alleviated my pain. The spinal deformity doctor told me that my condition is in a vicious cycle and will only worsen with time if I don't get the surgery.
If you believe in prayer, please pray for me. If not, send good thoughts. I'm going to be laid up for quite a while, so if you can think of something you want to send me to keep me occupied during my convalescence, I'll give you my home address privately.
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