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 couldnâ€™t stop re-watching! So much information is given on the brothersâ€™ 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. Iâ€™m sure a Purgatory!Dean sonnet will soon follow, but I need to get to the review! Iâ€™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 smokinâ€™ hotness is the Dean
of Purgatory and Samâ€™s stalkery stare
But above all the rest of what we learn
the bonds of brothers, blood and not, we yearn.
In case you didnâ€™t catch it, this episode was written by Ben Edlund. He has written masterful episodes such as â€œThe Man Who Would Be Kingâ€ and also super funny episodes like â€œClap Your Hands if You Believeâ€. 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 canâ€™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 DIDNâ€™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 â€œdemonâ€ 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 â€œmother henâ€ 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 Iâ€™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, â€œBittenâ€ we had a â€œMichaelâ€ 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 Iâ€™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 didnâ€™t leave hunting for Jess, he was trying to leave it before...but we do get the idea that he wasnâ€™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 didnâ€™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. Deanâ€™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 hasnâ€™t really been in himself.
Benny showed another Sam element with him telling Dean he didnâ€™t even know â€œif this world is realâ€. 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 canâ€™t question that. We know from Bennyâ€™s conversation with â€œthe old manâ€ 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 hasnâ€™t found a place, but I think Sam understood the truth--she may think that it is because she just hasnâ€™t found a place she wants to live in yet, but in actuality sheâ€™s keeping an easy escape route incase things donâ€™t work out. She doesnâ€™t even know the people who run the motel she has been staying at for three months. She isnâ€™t trying to find friends. She is just in her apartment alone when sheâ€™s not at work from the looks of it. She has no one, and doesnâ€™t know where she is going. Actually, I can really relate to that...Itâ€™s kind of scary how much I can relate to that...and here I was just having the conversation that Iâ€™m more like Sam...Oh, wait. Sam doesnâ€™t have anyone or know where he is going either!
Samâ€™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...Weâ€™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 Samâ€™s reaction to Dean potentially being in danger. Sam wouldnâ€™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 isnâ€™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. â€œShit, Iâ€™ve got lots of friends.â€ â€œI donâ€™t.â€ Doc didnâ€™t have a lot of friends, but those people he called â€œfriendsâ€ meant the world to him. Sam mentions how all of Deanâ€™s friends are dead. When Dean wants to know what is up with Benny, and he wonâ€™t take â€œyouâ€™ve saved the dayâ€ as an answer, Benny comments on Deanâ€™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, Deanâ€™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 Casâ€™s vessel, Jimmy, and how it didnâ€™t make sense that Benny could escape Purgatory and Cas wouldnâ€™t be able to. I didnâ€™t have a problem with that. I really donâ€™t think there is anything of Jimmy left. For all intents and purposes, I think heâ€™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 donâ€™t think itâ€™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...
Iâ€™m sure I could go on for hours more, but itâ€™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.
I only have one question. When the Impala is driving up, is it the old sound effects-or are we hearing the "REAL" thing now? Does any one know??
I love Ben and ur sonnet (ode to him) was perfect. He has a great handle on both brothers and it shows in episodes like this. Every secene was memorable and important. Pacing was great. Dialogues, the acting, god e'thing was perfect.
I cannot end this comment without appreciating Guy Bee. The direction was spectacular. I have watched this episode 3 times already and am so loving it.
So thanks Nicole for this lovely review. Hope u manged to get some shut eye after all. Looking forword to ur con reports now
I'm enjoying how this season is unfolding. I try to remember that SPN is 22 episodes (last year 23) so everything is unveiled slower than in shows that only have 12, like Game of Thrones or Homeland, which seem to have non-stop action and huge revelations almost every episode. SPN can take its time in telling this story because they have the time to do it.
I will say that although I feel positive about this season, I do completely understand why some don't. I don't really mind reading negative comments (as long as they aren't disrespectful or anything) because, though this might seem strange, it is interesting to me to find out what people think is not working about a given episode. For me, it expands my overall view of how the story is being told (it works the same way for me with positive reviews as well).
Wish there was time for him to write even more. He does comedy and tragedy equally well.
Guy Bee's direction is also unequaled. Love how he lets them take time to show the unspoken words and feelings. Those two guys are expert at it, so let them do it!
Pleasure to read so far the comments without the negativity creeping in yet. I'm sure it will though. I'm tired of reading them this year as they just repeat and repeat the same things. I don't have to read them and they don't have to read mine and be depressed by positive comments.
There is actually alot I like just not everything but there you go .But sadly being a forum differing views will occur.
I love the similarities between each of the characters you pointed out that are very believable and a possibility. Again I cannot wait until Wednesday for the next little tidbit.
I love this episode. I particular love the purgatory flashback and how the odd relationship between Dean, Cas and Benny developed. Yes, I too agree the arrival of the Leviathans is so Death Eaters! Awesome!
I think the Sam flashback is good but a bit out of place in this episode. However, I get it, I think it was meant to compare and contrast Dean's time in purgatory and Sam in a chick flick.
Good point about Dean and Sam driving alone and what comes to their mind. It's important to see how different their experience was and what they gain from it especially on an emotional level.
I can't wait to see Garth next week. I can't get over what Dean said in the promo "You left me die for a girl.." Ooooooo. He is going to explode!
Just kidding, I still love you Tiny!
Now that I know what I know, I'm very excited for next week too! >
Loved this episode so much, I have watched it 3 times and will probably watch in a few more times. Ben Edlund has so much hidden info in his scripts, it's kind of like uncovering little treasures every few minutes. So loved your sonnet to him! The guy is pure genius. He and Guy Bee go together like chocolate & peanut butter or wine & cheese, or any good food pairing.