Review "“ 7x15 "Repo Man" 
By sweetondean
Warning: contains episode spoilers.
 
He's a psychopath Sam, that's what they do all the time, is act.
Act like they're normal, act like they're not balls to the wall crazy.


I agree with Dean, demons I get, people are crazy. In fact, I'm pretty sure if I utter an exorcism in my daily life at least 2 people would spew forth demon smoke. At least. Maybe I'll try that on Monday, just for a lark. Note to self: remember to wear your anti-possession pendant, .. So I guess it's no surprise that sooner or later we'd revisit the fact that sometimes the brothers are going to come across humans who are as evil as even the most evil of supernatural things the Winchesters hunt. But like so many episodes this season, "Repo Man" was not about that. It was about parallels. It was about Jeffrey and his dependence on his Demon paralleled with Sam and his growing dependence on his Devil. It was about how the serial killer fakes being ok, hiding what's really going on inside, just as Sam fakes being ok and hides the truth, day in, day out. There was even a parallel between Jeffrey and Dean and how loss had affected them both, the drinking, the suicidal thoughts. There was a lot going on in "Repo Man", it was a damn smart episode, but I'd expect nothing less from Ben Edlund.

 

Ah Mr Edlund, let me kneel in worship before your weird genius. Yes, yes, you all know how much I adore him. I won't bore you with my devotion again. But, .what a lovely writer this guy is. With the amount of subtext in "Repo Man", you never once felt like you were being hit over the head with it. It was all there for us to discover and explore, layer upon layer. Then, because we're Supernatural fans, talk about and dissect incessantly. It was creepy and suspenseful and it had me on the edge of my seat.  I love how Edlund writes the Winchesters, he absolutely gets the depth of their characters and the words he creates that come out of their mouths are always pitch perfect. I also love how he writes Lucifer. I dig how Lucifer is portrayed in Supernatural. I thought it was ballsy back when they introduced him and I still think it's ballsy now. It's not your typical picture of the Devil, but then this isn't your typical show is it? Add to all of the above, the dark and rather twisted story that unfolded in "Repo Man" and we have another highlight episode of the season.  We're on a run! 


The whole demon waltzing with Jeffrey thing really wigged me out. That was so strange don't you think? Really hammered home the unnaturalness of the supernatural. And the poor puppy! Did he have to go and be so gosh darn cute as to pick up his cone in his mouth and wander off to his death wagging his tail? I mean really! As soon as I saw that fluff-ball I thought, "Nuts! The dog's a goner!" It's funny (or it's probably not actually), but kill as many humans as you like in TV and movies and I'll pretty much shrug it off, but kill an animal and I sweat on it for days! Bad Mr Edlund (p.s. I love you).


There's been a lot of back and forth about whether the flashback in "Repo Man" took place in season 3 or 4. It really doesn't matter one way or the other, but I assumed it was 3, due to the ferocity of the interrogation of the demon inside Jeffrey. My assumption was, this was about finding Lilith to release Dean from his Hell deal and wasn't about the breaking of the seals. The knife used by Dean, that he then covered in Holy water, was not Ruby's knife and they did have her knife in season 4, so you'd expect to see them using it. You get a good look at the knife when Dean draws it out and sharpens it. I did see commentary around the fact that Dean was a skilled torturer in the flashback, which yes, could point to season 4. But surely he'd be more squirrely about torturing post Hell? He wasn't even real keen about having to torture Alastair, who totally deserved it. Also, you'd think the Winchesters would be able to put two and two together and realise a Holy water soaked knife is more powerful than just a knife. I don't believe Dean would need Alastair to teach him something so basic. The boy has brains after all. I'm sure his dad taught him plenty too. Maybe even Bobby. This is what these guys have been doing their entire lives and they're not stupid. I'm sure they have plenty of tricks up their sleeve. But then again, maybe Dean never thought of it for some reason and the Holy water soaked knife is the only thing that definitively points to the season, without asking Ben of course. Seems flimsy but, my assumption that it was season 3 also does not allow for the "lost year", but that seems to have been totally ignored by the writers in the past. If you remember the calendar in "You Can't Handle The Truth" showed the year as our current year and not a year ahead. So if they're not paying attention to Dean's year off, then neither am I. Therefore, depending upon which timeline you follow, four years back could be either season 3 or season 4! Geesh! Look, we could all go down the rabbit hole with this one, I think we over think this stuff anyway. Like, way over think it! Season 3 or 4, who cares, I don't think it has any significance. That's not what this scene was about. The importance of this scene was to set the storyline in motion, introduce Jeffrey and establish a solid reason for Dean to feel empathy and then guilt regarding Jeffrey, allowing the later to use this to his advantage. 


The other thing that seemed to throw the cat amongst the pigeons was the torture scene itself. You know, this didn't even remotely bother me. I don't know what that says about me, but anyway. The brothers needed the information. They explained to Jeffrey what the deal was and what they'd have to do, and as my friend Kara put it, he signed the permission slip. Then they went for it. They're not going to snuggle the information out of the demon. They're not going to get the information by asking nicely. They're going to do what they need to do. These guys aren't there to provide therapy, they're warriors, they're soldiers and sure, they're the good guys and they're incredibly empathetic (to a fault more often than not), but in battle, choices have to be made. This is how they were raised and somehow they've managed to balance it out pretty well, all things considered, and hold on to their humanity. But unfortunately, sometimes the innocent are going to get hurt. Not that Jeffrey turned out to be innocent! I literally had not one single issue with any of it. They got Jeffrey out, they got him to the hospital and they cleaned up the mess left behind so he didn't go down for a murder he didn't commit. There you go, that was thoughtful wasn't it?


Oh dear, poor Sammy. So we finally got a little peek at what Sam sees. 24/7 Satan-Vision. Lucifer babbling away at him. Following him around like an evil imaginary friend. Whispering not so sweet nothings in Sam's ear. Wow, I've got to say, I'm super impressed that Sam has held it together for this long. I'm super impressed he's managed to keep his fragile state of mind hidden. How exhausting. But now, he's let the Devil in and there's no going back. There's no pressing the palm to get rid of him again. His stone number one has crumbled. He blocked him out for as long as he could and now Sam's booked a one-way ticket to crazy-town. Well let's hope it's a return ticket, because we need sane Sammy back. The Devil is a nasty piece of work. I say that like I'm surprised! He played on Sam's weak spot. Dean. Helping Sam to find the answers that he needed to find his brother. He seemed to know things that Sam didn't, interesting. The more desperate Sam got, the more necessary Lucifer became. Forcing Sam to break, acknowledge and turn to him. Lucifer finally managed loosen Sam's lid. It was such a beautiful dance. 


Mark Pellegrino is something else. Lucifer is one of my absolute favourite characters. How can he not be? He's a total brat. The way he tried to block Sam's vision in the library. Creating hallucinations of the people banging their heads against the desk. Pouting because Sam wouldn't speak to him. Poking out his forked tongue. Goading Sam into being tough and harsh with Nora. What a right bastard. The closing image of Sam sitting amongst the Hellfire as Lucifer screamed out "Good morning Vietnam!" I think every hair on my body stood up. O-oh. Sam's face. Once again a fabulous job done here by the entire cast. Jared's eyes in that final frame broke my heart. He managed to find a beautiful balance between stoic and cracked. Agh. Poor Sam.


This was the second week in a row we didn't see Dean drink. Mind you, he didn't have a lot of time being all bound to a chair and all, , , wait, what was I saying? Oh yes. Apparently he's oblivious to Sam's true mental state. Sam seems to have done an excellent snow job on him. Or maybe Dean's simply believing what he wants to believe. Believing Sam is ok because that's better than the alternative. Good grief, I'm antsy about how he's going to handle it all when his brother's last shred of sanity finally goes down the tubes. The possibility of losing Sam on top of everyone else he's lost this past year. Damn. 


Jeffrey easily sniffed out Dean's emotional frame of mind. Though Dean didn't seem to fall for a moment of it. He looks a bit stronger don't you think? Jeffrey used the drinking, emotional shell line, but it seemed to wash over Dean this time. Sure, he'd been feeling like crap for the chaos they left behind in Jeffrey's life, but like he said, they're the good guys. He apologised and he didn't look too beaten up by the whole thing, for a change. That for me, felt like an improvement! Or have I got my rose coloured Winchester glasses on again? He didn't seem to be mulling over Jeffrey's emotional manipulation either, when he got back to the motel, he simply wanted to crash out. He felt less, I don't know, tortured? Or self-torturing? With what's coming, I hope he is in a bit of a better place, . He's going to need all his Deanness to get through.


I also want to say that Russell Sams, who played Jeffrey, did an amazing job. He had that whole vulnerable-turn-on-a-dime-to-crazy thing really working for him. You know who he reminded me of? Kevin Spacey's character in The Usual Suspects. Maybe it was the limp? But more likely it was (look away if you don't want to be spoiled for that movie), the complete turn around, the twist when you find out he's the big-bad after all. Of course, in our case the CW in all their brainiac glory popped the twist in the promo, so, well I wasn't surprised. Promos 101 people! Don't give the damn twist away. Geeze. 


And demons. I miss demons. I miss their black eyes, snarky humour and billowing smoke. By the way, I loved how the demon smoke in the teaser interacted with the opening titles. Very cool. So what do you think that demon meant at the end, when he said they'd be back, back in black. Think that was a reference to the Leviathan? Or that Crowley might be rallying his demon army against Dick friggin' Roman? I mean, surely Crowley has to be back. He wouldn't slink away like that. Or slither away. We really need to get the Leviathan arc back on the front burner please. Frank, do your job! Stop finding dick and find Dick!


"Repo Man" was a first rate, clever episode, with the luring of the brothers back to town, the manipulation of Dean by Jeffrey, the manipulation of Sam by Lucifer, the insight into Sam's melon and the parallels between the brothers and the ones trying to pull their strings. There was lots of lovely stuff for us to mull over. As we do. Like recognising the aftermath of a Winchester visit. There are people all over small town America who carry the scars of a supernatural encounter and a Winchester rescue! Of course the boys save their lives, but then they move on and the people left behind probably don't. I thought that was an interesting thing to investigate. Oh and, we got a little glimpse of the amulet and of the Impala. I miss the Impala. I want her back. It was very nice to see the amulet again too. All in all, totally excellent.

Next episode, which is weeks away on March 16 (the agony), looks like we're starting down the road to the end game, at least it looks like we're going to see the aftermath of Sam's mental break and then the following week, the reintroduction of a certain character and all the confusion and stress that's going to bring! Sounds like we're in for a bumpy ride, ..again. We best all come together for regular group hugs!
So, how did you feel about "Repo Man"? 

I'll see you in a couple of weeks after LA con with some reports! I'm doing both the Jensen and the Jared Q&As, so I'll write them up and share. You should see my grin right about now,


I have no excuse for this cap. I included it just cause, well it's obvious isn't it?

Thanks for reading!

-sweetondean

Comments  

Dru
# Dru 2012-02-19 15:29
I love this review...says it all....my tummy is worried about the next episode...and I defy ANYONE to say jared cant act...lol
Last week Dean was called a bully about the clown...pffft.. .this week he is a torturere...pffft.
Thanx Amy:)...rationa lity is great!
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-02-19 15:49
Really? Well Dru, it's a damn good thing I didn't see anyone saying that! Let's just say....they wouldn't like me when I'm angry ;-) Thanks for reading...as usual! :lol:
LEAH
# LEAH 2012-02-19 16:22
Very entertaining review, as always.

Is it possible that the real Lucifer is torturing Sam instead of Sams/mind Lucifer? I know this has been brought up before by others but I'm starting to wonder. Things that Luci knew that Sam didn't (maybe things in Sams subconcious?) I don't know. There was one scene that Sam walked off frame and seconds later Luci made a comment to himself. Would that be a product of Sams mind? The fact that Sam "let him in" sound very similar to the rules Angels have about their vessels. Possessed in mind not body? I could be way off base but its got me thinking.

I did enjoy this episode and the one before. Dean does seem stronger. That may be due to the non-drinking because alcohol is a depressant. However it has been nice to see the guys behaving more true to their characters than emotionally all over the map as has been written this season.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-02-19 16:43
Although Lucifer seemed to know things Sam didn't I really felt that it was more things Sam had already seen and was subconsciously remembering. Lucifer was just the part of his brain that picked up on them.

I did enjoy this episode. I'm not thrilled that the show so blatantly implied that Sam is or is going to become a psychopath. I'm rather tired of "how evil is Sam" as the running theme. I wish Dean had used the term crazy instead of psychopath.

I can't wait to see where they go from here.
Alice
# Alice 2012-02-19 17:05
I didn't take that as an implication that Sam was a psychopath. Just that compared to what he's doing, it's a thin line between his hiding his condition and psychopathic behavior. Dean always manages to help Sam stay on the straight and narrow.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-02-19 18:18
I agree with you Alice, I didn't see this as the writer's making any implication that Sam would go dark, quite the opposite. This was about showing the lengths Sam has been going to keep sane and on the right path. This was about his having to hide and lie and live this double life. He must be exhausted....th ink we're going to see a bit of that.
Marilyn
# Marilyn 2012-02-19 17:50
:-) Thanks so much for this review. I see a little of Ben Edlund in your tongue-in-cheek edness at times. ;-) Example: "Stop finding dick and find Dick!" and Crowley "slithering away."
I applaud the actors for another solid show and Edlund, well, he comes close to walking on water.
Another terrific episode- although why did it have to be a cute shelter puppy? I am with you (does it make us sick, erh, puppies), that we can take mayhem against humans much better than that against animals?
Have fun at LACON; I will be looking forward to your reports.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-02-19 18:22
Marilyn....Me? Ben Edlund? I may have just fallen in love with you! :lol:
Lucyjuice
# Lucyjuice 2012-02-19 18:04
I'm bothered by the implication that Lucifer and Sam were more than just friends in Hell.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-19 18:44
Quote:
I'm bothered by the implication that Lucifer and Sam were more than just friends in Hell.
I'm guessing that is to show the storyline that Sam suffered the worst hell ever. Just a guess on my part, but that's what I take the implications as.

I've already posted my thoughts on the other threads, so will just say I really enjoy your reviews, sweetondean.

I really liked the episode and almost always do the BE ones. Besides just enjoying it a lot (what a quick hour that was) this one raised a lot of questions in my mind for what is to come and what will be resolved this season.

I wonder if they will wrap up Sam's story this season and carry the Levi story over to S8. Time seems to be running out to cover Sam's hellpain, the Levi's, the Dean/Cas friendship/betr ayal and Cas's redemption, and a return of Bobby somehow (as Robert Singer indicated at the TCA interview).

If Dean is miraculously all better now, I am not going to be a happy camper. I don't find sleeping with a monster and donating his sperm a satisfactory resolution to his alcoholism and depression, and I don't want this to be another Dean's all better because he has to 'save Sam' season for either Dean or Sam.

I'm looking forward to your reports from the LA Con, too, but I must say we haven't gotten very many spoilers out of the cons this year.
cd28
# cd28 2012-02-20 08:41
Quote:
I'm bothered by the implication that Lucifer and Sam were more than just friends in Hell.
Figuratively speaking, Sam was raped by Lucifer/Azazel when he was six months old, and has this evil demon blood forced inside him, changing him. There was sexual innuendo in the way Lucifer tried to seduce Sam in season 5 (saying Sam his whole life had been running toward Lucifer and that they were OTP). This is just expanding on that theme. Personally, I think it's still metaphorical, rather than literal, though.
LucyJuice
# LucyJuice 2012-02-20 12:13
I think the references have been more overt than that recently. "Rapier Wit - Wittier Rape." Of course since it was his soul in hell not his body it would be metaphorical. It's been a theme running through the whole series. I have no problem with the issue being raised as long as it's done well.
LEAH
# LEAH 2012-02-19 18:32
I always took that "bunk mates" meant that they shared a cell as in prison not bed mates. Might be wrong but thats how I understood it. Someone commented elsewhere that they thought Lucifer and Michael might both be abusing Sam in that way, I don't believe that. I do think Sam was tortured in every other way conceivable, however.
Gwen
# Gwen 2012-02-19 18:34
I enjoyed this episode although those words from Dean in the last scene - about psychopaths hiding their true selves and acting normal - left me feeling rather concerned. I share the concerns of percysowner upthread.

I was absolutely delighted to finally, finally get some insight into Sam's head. It's been too long in coming. I'm really looking forward to seeing Sam's mental break and I'm hoping for some wonderful big brother Dean scenes when he realises just how unwell and broken his brother really is.

Jared and Mark P were amazing. I love their scenes togther, they have such a great chemistry.
Not Gloria Steinem
# Not Gloria Steinem 2012-02-19 18:55
At the risk of raising up a storm, there was one element of this week's episode that annoyed me so much I have to share. Agree with all you've said above, and I love Ben Edlund's writing and overall this was a great episode. But, BUT.... Chubby Chasers? Did you see that librarian?? Apart from the fact that they put her in a too-tight cardigan, that actress had a very normal, very average body type. She'd never end up on Sam or Dean's sexual radar, of course, she'd need to drop several dress sizes for that. I know Supernatural has never been a bastion of the feminist ideal, but sheesh. Usually I ignore that kind of thing, because I accept it's part of the Supernatural world, but this one annoyed me so much it ruined my enjoyment of the episode.
LEAH
# LEAH 2012-02-19 19:08
Not Gloria Steinem: You make a good point. I raised my eyebrows at that also. The serial killer thing could have been done without reference to Chubby Chasers. The librarian was average size. I had forgotten about that until you brought it up.
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-02-19 19:55
One thing for sure, you hit the nail on the head about people over thinking things. I love the occassional spoiler,but if there are any hidden meanings in ANY of the epi's, I want to be surprised. they write them that way. it would be pretty boring if we knew everything that was going to happen. It's one of the things I love about the show, I am almost always surprised by Something!!!
francie1
# francie1 2012-02-19 19:58
I've been wondering about what the demon meant when he said they would be back in black. Do you suppose it's possible that a demon could possess a leviathan? Now that would be a hairy combination!
Vanda
# Vanda 2012-02-19 23:20
Deanie_24 it was an interesting episode this week, Jared did a superb job playing Sam. Loved Mark too... He's such a tormenting & cheeky Lucifer. Also loved the fact that Dean didn't hesitate when it came to killing Jeffrey!!
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-02-20 02:18
I am a Stephen King Fan and i should have learned by now that cute fluffy animals (mostly cats and dogs) don't have a long lifespan in horror .I am a cat person who likes Dogs (little scared) too and for what Jeffrey did i wanted to reach into the tv and kill him.
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-02-20 14:24
I too, would have happily killed him! Poor sweet puppy!

Can't help but feel more for the innocent critters than all the slaughtered humans. Geez! Something very wrong with me! :sigh:
Kara. L
# Kara. L 2012-02-20 03:29
That demon is so going to be coming back, and its going to be awesome. I really feel like this episode had the best of both worlds. It was sort of The Benders-esk but also having the Demon mythology that I just have missed the last two seasons.
Love this episode from start to finish and loved your review
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-02-20 08:05
Great review as ever. That was an awesome episode, Ben Edlund, the man is a genius!!! I got so many chills watching it.

Poor Sam, we finally see what he's been living with all this time, how he hasn't collapsed yet is a miracle. I really loved the guy playing Jeffrey, he had me fooled but good. And why did the dog have to be so cute?? Although it would have been atrocious even had he not been. It's like when David Fincher killed the cat in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", that's what stuck with me! I care more about animals than people. But, yeah, anyone that's read Stephen King or any other horror novelist knows that the cute fuzzy creatures always bite the dust.

Dean was back to his old self when captured by Jeffrey, he didn't panic, just kept his cool. And Sam letting Lucifer in to help his brother, breaks my heart. BTW, I love your screen shot of Luci sticking his tongue out, it's just so creepy and bratty at the same time. Mark Pellegrino has this role down pat. And Jared played Sam's vulnerability when faced with Lucifer so damn well.

I so agree with you on this: So if they’re not paying attention to Dean’s year off, then neither am I. Therefore, depending upon which timeline you follow, four years back could be either season 3 or season 4! Geesh! Look, we could all go down the rabbit hole with this one, I think we over think this stuff anyway. Like, way over think it! Season 3 or 4, who cares, I don’t think it has any significance. That’s not what this scene was about. The importance of this scene was to set the storyline in motion, introduce Jeffrey and establish a solid reason for Dean to feel empathy and then guilt regarding Jeffrey, allowing the later to use this to his advantage.
I could care less what year the action is taking place, all I care about is this indredible storyline we're getting. I am loving this season.

Sorry for being all over the place, I'm not a very eloquent writer, and when it comes to this show, I just gush incessantly.
Amy
# Amy 2012-02-20 10:33
it occurs to me that writers HAVE to kill/torture adorable animals these days since people seems so immune to the torture and murder of innocent humans these days.

its like once upon a time when writes resorted to killing/hurting kids to show how evil things were. Now...a childs death barely makes a blip on the radar. So... oc\f course writers go on to the next taboo... animals. Dogs, cats...horses (walking Dead)

In a few years the torture and killing of animals will go in the so what catagory as well adn writers will have to find a new way to shock viewers.

Are we loosing our own humanity? That we can't be shocked by a persons agony anymore?
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-02-20 12:39
The problem I've always had (and will always have) with animals AND children in the line of fire, is that they are both so innocent. They put their trust in you wholeheartedly, that's what makes it more difficult than seeing an adult go through whatever it is the writer sees fit to put said person through. I'm not saying it's easy, but children and animals always make me want to go the extra mile to protect them if I can.
nicolemarie
# nicolemarie 2012-02-20 22:06
we hit a lot of the same points again! I didn't go too much into Dean's manipulation by jeffrey because, well,, Sam was snowed by him too. I saw the Jeffrey snowplow as more of a full Winchester thing...Althoug h yes, he totally played into Dean. One of the reasons I love Dean so much can best be quoted with something Lynne said about Buck to Edmund in LA Confidential (one of my favorite movies ever)--That she loves him because he can't hide the good inside of him. I feel that way about Dean. I always have. He is tough, and he is jaded, but he wears his heart on his sleeve. But I don't need to preach to you about Dean love! :D
The episode was wonderful, but it has me so worried about Sam--well Edlund is such a genius. I didn't talk much into Luci using Dean as the way to get Sam to pay attention to him--although I was going to mention it (review. too. long. as. it.was.) Especially we see it start in the library when Luci starts showing Sam crap, and he just keeps trying to block it out. Then after he is seriously getting worried...Luci remarks that was Dean's last cell, something must be wrong. Big Brother's probably dead. That got Sam to finally say "Shut up" to Luci...D:

But what was ingenious about the Sam/Lucifer talking scenes were that the way that they went, they really were like someone working things through in their heads. without the assistance of lucifer, or some other demon. In creating this Lucifer persona, Sam has attributed some of his more self righteous smart boy reasoning skills to Lucifer (probably a personality trait he feels was something that made him an appropriate "vessel" for luci in the first place. Sam needs to take from that that it isn't LUCIFER giving him the answers, he is figuring them out himself. there is no real lucifer in his head, it is only a fractioned off portion of his own psyche... what a wild ride this has been. This season has been so amazing. and I found the need to tweet when he called the dog over for butchering "NO ACTUAL ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS EPISODE!" well, long comment is long...not nearly as long as my review...but getting there! great review as always Amy :D
nicolemarie
# nicolemarie 2012-02-21 07:07
and oopsy, I meant BUD white...
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-02-27 11:10
An interview on Winchester Radio www.blogtalkradio.com/mediablvd/2012/02/26/winchester-radio--discussion-of-supernaturals-repo-man had Jim Michaels call in and he stated the episode WAS set in season three. That is why they added the spotlights to the Impala because the last time they were on the Impala was season three. So you were right. At least one question answered by TPTB.
deepthi
# deepthi 2012-04-13 09:00
I know it's a little late to ask...but what about the devil's trap that appears in the warehouse where Jeffery keeps Nora's son..? I don't think Jeffery drew it considering his want for the Demon. Nobody else knew about the place until then? Can someone help please? I am open to one possibility though --> "Bobby" ! :)