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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 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



# Vanda 2012-11-03 19:01
Great review... Loved your ode to Ben Edlund!
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-03 23:41
Thanks V! I'm going to write up a Purgatory!Dean sonnet for next week!
# SPN Fan 2012-11-04 01:44
Thanks V! I'm going to write up a Purgatory!Dean sonnet for next week!
Can't wait for it. Thanks for this and keep them coming.
# Alice 2012-11-03 19:43
Great review! I loved the episode as well. When it comes to Edlund, it's all good. I'm sure Ben hasn't had many Sonnets written in his honor, so great job with that!
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-03 23:43
he should get many sonnets. he is an inspiration to writers everywhere :D
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-05 21:49
Ben should get ALL THE SONNETS. But people just don't write sonnets like they did back in the 1500s... :D
# PENNY JAIME 2012-11-03 20:32
Man, you said it!! Performance; writing; direction; special effects;lightin g;sound-EVERYTH ING. They just knocked it out of the park.

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??
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-03 23:47
driving up or driving away? I noticed that the engine was a bit quiet during Dean's pensive drive...Impalas are monsterously big and their huge engines are loud! :D
# CJ 2012-11-04 01:42
Jensen did say that they fixed the Impala so it doesnt make as much noise as it did before. But I still doubt that its the real sound. They must be using sound effects. In fact they even have a pre-recorded sound for the door opening on Sam & Dean's respective sides. Its not the real sound. They apparently use the pre-rec ones. I dont have the link right now but this was said during last year's con.
# sweetondean 2012-11-04 00:03
OMG your ode to Ben! He is a beautiful man, him of the stripy tshirts, drainpipe pants, cardigans and crazy hair!

Fab! :lol:
# Jean 2012-11-04 01:40
Maybe Cas, like Anna, pulled his grace out and left it in Purgatory, leaving him human and able to pass through the portal?
# CJ 2012-11-04 01:35
Awesome review. Felt like u took the words right out of my head. Ur view of Sam&Dean, the episode and the season in general is how I feel too. So thanks for that. Am happy to read an optimistic & enthusiastic view of the show. There's so much negativity going around that without reviews like urs (and sweetondeans) I feel I might drown.
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 :-)
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-05 21:34
Thanks CJ! I too love Guy! directing...I suppose I could do one review where I just write poems to each character...a sonnet here, a haiku there...but we'll see ;D . I got a little bit of sleep but still woefully less than I should be getting! Last week was one crazy week. I have the draft of my con report done, so I should have it up in a day or so!
# MetamorphicRocks 2012-11-04 10:42
Very nice review, and your sonnet to Ben was so cute! I also enjoyed this episode. I loved the Purgatory scenes and the Levi; I wish they had been shown more like that in Season 7!

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).
# Grace232 2012-11-04 18:26
Metamorphicrock s, I thought this season was 23 as well? Did they go back to 22?
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-05 21:39
I agree, I understand why some fans are worked up, but I also think that some people don't allow the story to unfold and see what happens. being a committed fan of a show so often feels like you're in a relationship with the show of sorts. Reminds me of the time Carrie went off on Big in Sex and the City. Later she apologized and Big said "yeah, what was that about?" her reply? "You didn't say what I wanted you to say". I think we do that with shows we love and "fantasize" about with fanfic and stuff. we have expectations and when show doesn't do what we wanted it to do, we get upset because it is acting in a way different from what we "fantasized" it would...if that makes sense...I love to just sit back and see how things play out. It's hard, and why I don't watch a lot of shows first run--just waiting for them to come out to dvd...but I'll take the pain because I love this show so much...if that makes sense...long winded comment... D: thanks for reading!!!
# Bevie 2012-11-04 14:34
Great review! Love your sonnet to Ben. He so deserves it!
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. :D
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-05 21:43
hee hee! Well, we can't improve if we don't get constructive criticism...and life would be boring if everyone agreed about everything...I just dislike people being negative for the sake of being negative and not presenting any real solutions only whining about what they don't like. I'm totally cool with other opinions...look at how mature I'm trying to be :D thanks for reading my review and thanks for the compliment!
# Sharon 2012-11-04 14:51
And those being all positive repeat the same things over and over so there isnt a difference is there except that nobody is required to be either.

There is actually alot I like just not everything but there you go .But sadly being a forum differing views will occur. :-)
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-05 21:44
different views will occur, and that can be a very positive thing! :D
# Trucklady 2012-11-04 22:00
Great review Nicole! I love the sonnet for Ben. He is so deserving. You are so right in him getting the boys as deeply as he does. This episode was over the top in every way possible. We are finally getting some answers on Sam and Benny. I am so anxious to see how they get Cas out of Purgatory. I know he gets out but does not know how he gets out so that will be interesting.

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.
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-05 21:45
I can't either! I'm liking the additional characters and am very curious about what went down with Cas! D:
# Darya 2012-11-04 22:51
Oh, Nicole. I so love that sonnet, I think I might make a Ben Edlund desktop wallpaper and put this in it. Or probably tune it and sing it everywhere to profess my undying love for Ben Edlund. Such a great review too! Cannot wait for Wednesday.
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-05 21:45
I can't either! You'll have to send me a pic of your desktop if you do that :D
# Tiny 2012-11-05 01:40
Nice one Nicole! I love the Ben Edlund sonnet! That's ten kinds of awesome! Can you put this into a song now? Hehe..

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!

nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-05 21:48
YOU JUST SPOILED ME TINY!!!! I missed the promo because I didn't get to watch when it was on and got it dl'd to my lappie from thanks for that!

Just kidding, I still love you Tiny!

Now that I know what I know, I'm very excited for next week too! > :D
# Sylvie 2012-11-06 09:20
Loved your review Nicole. I'm so glad I found you, I kept going to your blog and there was no SPN write-up! I read about "Revolution" there, but I was like, what?, no more SPN!!! :sigh: Ouf, should have remembered that you started writing here. My bad. :oops:

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. ;-)
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-11-06 18:28
thanks Sylvie! I keep meaning to put the reviews up to date on my blog for both spn and revolution. I used to post to saltedandburned and blogger at the same time, but for WFB I post first, and put in my own account after it has been up a bit...which means stuff happens and I haven't been keeping up! D: I will be off work after this week for a couple weeks so I hope to have the time then to get them into my blogger account. so glad you found me! :D