Wow. Talk about tension. You could cut it with a knife. Thank goodness for a little Garth-infused lightness or Sam and Dean may have spent the entire episode in moody silence. Not that I wouldn't have watched...I was intrigued coming into this episode, â€˜Blood Brothers' left us at such a heated moment and I couldn't wait to dig into the drama of it all. (I must admit I'm still replaying that final scene in my head.) But I also knew that Garth was back and with Garth usually comes a lighter, monster of the week story. So I was worried that the Benny moment might get brushed over with a little Sam and Dean car-side conversation. And then the episode started with just that. But thankfully the conversation didn't stop there. It actually went a lot farther than I expected, but we'll get to that later.
There still was a monster of the week story. And let's face it, we needed it to break up the tension. But that doesn't meant it wasn't a giant parallel. Two brothers, fighting on opposite sides of a war. Doesn't take a genius to see the shout out to Sam and Dean in that storyline. But what interests me more is what Sam and Dean's "war" is supposed to be. Is it just about Benny? Dean believes that Benny is a good man/vampire and regards him as a friend. Sam sees Benny as violation of trust and thinks Dean is being hypocritical. So is that the "war" between Sam and Dean or do you think it's bigger than that? Personally, I think it is. Dean thought he and Sam were on the same page. Hunting is their job, it's their life. And more than that, he thought they shared an unspoken promise to never give up on each other. Even in death. Sam doesn't believe that hunting has to be his destiny. He believes he can make his own choices and find happiness for himself. And for reasons that are still unclear to me, he made the decision to let his brother go. So maybe that's the "war" Sam and Dean are fighting. Benny is certainly a part of it, but not the whole shebang. What do you think? Any other theories?
Regardless of what war these boys are fighting with each other this episode ended in a battle. As I mentioned earlier, Sam and Dean's fight went farther than I expected. It started with Dean being possessed by the coin. He said a lot of hurtful things and while it can be argued that it wasn't really him, I think we can all agree that it comes from a place of truth. He feels neglected. He was left fighting for his life in Purgatory. The thought of Sam trying to track him down was probably the only thing that got him through. And then he met Benny who was a friend to him when he desperately needed one. Benny is truly the reason Dean is still alive. But Dean did overstep his bounds in this argument.
"Benny's been more of a brother to me this past year than you've ever been!"
Not to mention this line...
"Everything you've ever done since you climbed into my ride is deceive me."
Ouch. How much of that was the coin talking? I don't know. But it was certainly harsh and untrue from where I'm standing. Of course we don't know all the details of Dean's year in Purgatory but I don't see how it could make up for years of life with Sam.
When Dean was no longer under the influence of the coin, I expected a conversation about how it wasn't really him talking. I expected that they would try to throw a patch over the fight and carry on. But Dean never really denied anything and Sam came back swinging. I'm glad to see him standing up for himself but I do think he went too far threatening Benny.
Sam: "I just might be that hunter one day that runs in to Benny and ices him"
Dean: "Well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it"
Sam: "Yeah, you keep saying that."
I keep reminding myself to look at this from Sam's perspective. He doesn't know Benny like we do (and we don't even know the half of it yet). When he looks at Benny he feels betrayed; he sees his brother protecting a monster. The same brother who warned him about Ruby and killed Amy. And it must have really hurt to hear Dean's words. But Benny is the reason Dean is alive and you would think Sam would give Dean the benefit of the doubt. If only because Sam has been there before and wanted Dean to trust him. I do keep wondering if Sam's threat was an empty one. Maybe he was just acting out because his feelings were hurt. He made it clear he's not interested in hunting so I don't see him going out of his way to be the one that kills Benny. But I also know that their paths will cross again and it will result in choices being made on both sides. It could even mean one brother sacrificing their relationship to make what they think is the right call.
While I sympathize with both Sam and Dean I do feel like we need some clarification where Sam is concerned. Why didn't he look for Dean? I know, it's the age old question at this point but it still needs to be answered. Dean has died (a few times) before and Sam couldn't let him go. This time Sam didn't know where Dean was or if he was even dead but he didn't look for him. So what was different this time around? Was it the appeal of ignorance that finally allowed him to let Dean go? When Sam knew Dean was in Hell it tortured him because he knew where Dean was and that he was there because he wanted to save Sam. So maybe not knowing where Dean was this time gave Sam some peace? What do you guys think? I don't mean to sound like I'm accusing Sam because I don't think we have all the facts. At this point I can't understand him just letting Dean go but I'm open to the idea that there is more that we don't know about Sam's year off.
Wow, how did this get so wordy. If you're still with me, I applaud you. Let's talk about Garth. I love that little guy. He was the perfect dash of comic relief in this heavy episode. But he also brought the heart. Just the fact that he has no beef with anyone is a testament to his care-free, forgiving personality. Sam and Dean need someone like that in their life.
He's not Bobby as Dean so clearly put it. But I do love that he is taking what he learned from Bobby and applying it. He saw a gap left by the loss of Bobby and he stepped in to fill it. I personally love him in this role. He doesn't have the best track record out in the field but he knows his stuff. I think it's a good fit and I'd love to see him around more regularly. Even if he's walking around looking and talking like a Bobby mini-me.
What did everyone think of Sam's Amelia flashbacks? To be honest, I don't feel like I know much more than I did before. I did really like that Sam and Amelia opened up to each other. I wonder how much Sam told her about his past, his life as a hunter and Dean. I'd be interested in seeing the rest of the conversation. Hopefully we'll get that chance.
What did you all think of this episode? Were you satisfied with the way this episode picked up from 'Blood Brothers'? Who is excited for Cass next week?! (I guess since CW promos are spelling it 'Cass' and not 'Cas' I need to change my ways!)
Dean: "You're sulking around like a eunuch in a whorehouse"
Garth: "You guys have no idea how much I miss you."
Dean's once over of Garth in his Texas ranger get up made me laugh.
Garth: "That's balls"
Dean: "That's not how you say balls"
Garth killed the tooth fairy. This needs no further explaination.
Dean: "What do we got, a ghost with an Oedipus complex?"
Sam's gives him a look.
Dean: "I don't know what that means"
Dean: "You're not Bobby. you're never gonna be Bobby."
Garth: "Bobby belonged to all of us, Dean. Not just you and Sam. I'm taking what he showed me and trying to do something with it. That's all."
Garth: "Civil War reenactments; once a year, every year."
Dean gives Garth a look
Garth: "Don't hate!"
Garth: "I kind of feel like we should say something"
Dean: "Sure...we won!"
I loved when we came back from commercial and they walked us through how the coin got passed along from person to person. It was nice getting eased back into the action.
Garth: "You can't change the past, amigo." No truer words were ever spoken!
Dean likes to pretend he doesn't like hugs from Garth but his face tells a different story.
Sam: "Move on or I will."
Dean: "Ok, I hear you."
Amelia letting Sam talk about Dean. He hasn't had anyone to do that with.
Obviously, from Benny's comment last week, Dean talked to him about Sam.
All I can say is I just LOVE this season. Wednesday nights is like a present every week
I loved this episode. Don't get me wrong, I love it when the brothers hug it out, but I just love the tension when they fight, too. Supernatural has given me quite a taste in conflict when it's done right. All i could think about was that they're getting their issues out in the open, which gives some chance for resolution instead of being swept down the proverbial Winchester rug.
Since the start of the season, I've been mulling over Sam's decision about not looking for Dean. I agree, it just doesn't make sense to me. I mean, I kinda get where he's coming from, about being utterly alone and maybe so hopeless and probably losing Dean was the end of the line for him, but I just didn't understand it. Winchesters aren't exactly the definition of letting things just go. And then a possible theory came to me. The last words Bobby told them was something along the line of "When it's your time, let go." So maybe aside from being crushed and hopeless, Bobby's last words weighed in on his decision? If that's the case, I would really like a complete mental breakdown scene. Like, the exact moment he came to this decision, because it couldn't have been easy.
I still haven't warmed up to Amelia. I keep hoping she has some deeper, darker secret other than being left a widow. And I like that Sam finally has some semblance of a healthy relationship, but can we maybe just twist it? Just a little bit? No? Okay...
And I liked Garth in this. Like you said, he has heart. He's awkward and has his quirks and at one glance not really who you'll peg as a reliable hunter, but I loved the fact that when Bobby died and Sam and Dean disappeared, he stepped up to take the mantle. That makes him as much of a hero as Sam and Dean in my books.
P.S. Did anybody else laugh when that possessed police officer sniffed Dean and Dean was all "Whoa there, pal!"
Yes, I would LOVE a breakdown scene. I want to see the moment the decision was made. I'm a glutton for punishment and those moments of raw emotion really do it for me. (Sounds like we have that in common!)
Thanks for commenting!
1) It doesn't make a lick of sense that Sam didn't look for Dean. It just doesn't.
2) The FB with Amelia have not helped at all in this understanding because Sam has not shown that he is at all a mess in them. He's dopey and a bit lost but not torn to the core of his being as I think he would be making the decision to give up on his brother.
3) And this has more to do with the mechanics of the show (and is only my opinion) but I find absolutely no chemistry between the two actors here. Amelia and Sam seem like two pieces of day old toast together. They're boring!!
Anyway, just my opinion.
I'll keep watching because iTunes will keep uploading.
I agree with everything you said. I was hesitant to talk about there being no chemistry because I don't think it's either actor's fault. I just think there hasn't been much to work with. Hopefully that will change!
I also agree with Sharon in that the flashbacks end up being more Amelia's story than Sam's. I haven't learned anything about Sam yet, except he recognized Amelia was a person who had suffered losses and now they are going to self-psychother apy together.
As far as the quotes about Benny at the end... I took it in an entirely different way, and I really think Sam was right in asking, and the fact that Dean didn't answer is incredibly sad!
I think what Sam was saying was that,
1) Sam's with Dean as a hunter right now - as Dean wanted
2) Dean feels Benny is a better brother
3) If hunter Sam has to kill Benny, then the first brother ends up killing the 'better brother'
Sam really wants to know What happens between us, Dean, if I kill your favourite brother?
Dean's answer? We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
I'm really hurting for these guys, and I don't see a way back from where they are now.
Sam got slammed pretty hard in this episode (not that I blame Dean for having some of those resentments), but neither brother is 'feeling the love'.
I was glad Sam pushed back somewhat, but they're still avoiding the real issues.
ARE they still brothers? at all?
I have been thinking what I would say to someone who asked me if they should watch Supernatural. I decided I would say that there were some shaky seasons, but that currently the mytharc is being nicely set up. The main actors are fabulous. The individual episodes are pretty well written and it is one of the better shows on television. What I wouldn't say is that it is no longer the show I loved. It has become a husk of itself and it has ruined a relationship that I adored and done it, not by showing the foibles of both brothers, but by elevating one of them into being a righteous man, chosen by heaven, betrayed by the brother he loved and a selfish, uncaring man who hosted the ultimate evil and who never loved his brother and whose every choice is measured only by how it effect the righteous man. I'm deeply pained by this, but there it is.
Garth, introduced as a cartoon character the writers are now rehabilitating as the new Bobby 2.0, went to college, graduated (Sam and Dean are both drop-outs) became a dentist (did better than either Winchester brother in measured standards) killed the tooth fairy (ooh, please!), already on top of a hunt that the Winchester's let him lead and just seemed to hang around because they donâ€™t have anything better to do, gives the Winchesters some basic history lessons that makes them both look stupid, is now a sage advisor to the hunting community, and the Winchester psycho-therapis t. I lose trust in the show when hunters are made with the stroke of a pen and in one script, especially when they are replacing a supposedly skilled character that we were lead to believe was one of the top older generation hunters and tutor to his generation and the next generation (like the Winchesters). The Winchesters donâ€™t have to be the smartest people, but they should be on the top of the rung in the hunter community.
It now seems that we have moved from an action story with at least one pro-active Winchester into just a more sophisticated soap opera with Sam idealizing his normal life with Amedlia and Dean has hurt feelings because he thinks Sam abandoned him. Big whoop.
I know it is not the fan's right to pick or choose the direction of a story, but it seems to me that the direction Gamble picked and Carver is choosing to follow harms both Winchester characters (i.e., Sam with the didnâ€™t bother to look for Deanâ€™ and, I expect Dean soon to follow with some transgression from Purgatory), but mostly to the premise this show was based upon.
Wanting normal, hurt feelings, crying tears over the losses encountered for repeatedly saving the world makes a mockery out of John's sacrifice, the sadness of Sam and Dean's upbringing, Dean's sacrifice for Sam, spending 30 years being tortured, ten years of being a torturer which destroyed any remnants of Deanâ€™s self-worth, the deaths of their good friends, Sam's willing attempt to cage Lucifer by jumping into the cage...all of that. Now weâ€™re down to a â€˜your hurt my feelings because of what you didâ€™ brother story. It takes the show past a realistic SPNverse hero world that at least mirrored the viewerâ€™s real world into nothing more than mundane.
There would have been so much better brother tension achieved if they would have kept with PTSD Dean and Sam recognizing it and becoming more frantic about Dean's flipping in and out. Dean is scary as hell when he does that, Sam is adorable when he is in protective brother mode, and the brother bond would have been front and center.
Sam could be asking "what about our relationship", but Dean hears him say "I'm gonna kill your friend".
Dean could be saying "let's leave it for now. I don't want to think about that 'cause I need you here"... and Sam hears "You hurt my brother and I'll kill you" - which used to be the way Dean talked about HIM ...
oh the pain! BOYS! Start communicating!! !!
I wish the writing could be more clear!
Those were extremely hard words possessed Dean said to Sam, but he can be forgiven as it wasn't entirely him talking. Yes, he has those thoughts in the back of his mind, but I can't see him speaking them like he did when himself. Sammy spoke some vicious words to Dean as far back as 'Asylum' while influenced by Ellicott and also by the siren, and those were his own thoughts beneath the surface as well. Too bad they are guys and won't clear the air by discussing these emotions they are keeping to themselves. Even as far back as 'Skin' Dean had some issues with Sammy, as the shapeshifter discovered that he has never spoken to Sam. We've forgiven Sam as he was influenced by the demon blood. We can forgive Dean as well, as he is really hurting that his beloved little brother seemingly deserted him when he really needed to feel he was still needed by him. Sammy is like Dean's son to him.
It hurts me to see them at loggerheads like that when I remember how very close and co-dependent they were up until half way through 'Lazarus Rising'.
I love Garth as well and he is a sweet refreshing character with no grudges towards anyone? Wow! Don't kill him off TPTB please. BUT I STILL WANT BOBBY BACK!
As far as Amelia goes, that union seems just blah. Sam had more charisma and connection to Sarah back in 'Provenance'. Can't see Amelia keeping Sam from looking for Dean at all. The dog, yes. Amelia, no.
And yes I am excited to get Cas back next week. The previews look good. And I'm really loving this season so far.
I don't love Amelia. Yep, no chemistry. Makes no sense. OK, they have things in common so I can buy a friendship and I do love that maybe Sam spilled his guts and we MIGHT get to listen in on that, but I don't buy the sexual relationship with the angry lady. Can somebody please look up Sarah and tell her this other woman has her man? She has fight. She can take her.
Dean has spent a year without Sam and not hunting, and now Sam has spent a year without Dean not hunting. Sam's soulless year he continued being a warrior as Dean continued being a warrior in Purgatory. They need to reconnect with each other already! Dean's comment about Benny being a better brother than Sam ever was? Major ouch. I don't think he ment that one, just as I don't really think Sam will go out of his way to hunt Benny. Dean called Sam deceitful. Ha! The pot calling the kettle black IMO. Dean has kept his own secrets from Sam, Benny being the most recent example. Maybe he's afraid Sam will think him a hypocrite? He always said to him, a monster is a monster and you kill it. But, obviously, Purgatory has changed him.
Okay, phew! Got that out. Now, Amelia. Can't say I know enough about her to form a clear opinion. Colour me intrigued for now. And how about Garth? Quite the perspicacious little fella! Bobby mini-me indeed.
In conclusion, I thought this episode had a pretty good balance of angst and mirth. And I loved the shot of how the coin got around, great change-up in the music.
Now I can't wait to see Cass.
Some say that Sam is a hypocrite here for saying that Dean did mean the things he said, when he was the first to say they didn't mean what they said in Sex and Violence. I both agree and disagree. On the one hand, I do think it's unfair in a sense that he didn't give Dean the same cover he'd given himself and Dean in Sex and Violence. On the other hand, the way the scene in Sex and Violence was acted, it was pretty clear that they were both partly lying in saying they didn't mean it and they were OK with each other, and they both knew it was a lie; they were agreeing Winchester wise to sweep the issues under the rug. I think when Sam says here that Dean did mean what he said he's speaking with the voice of experience, experience they both have. And saying oh, you didn't mean it is a form of evading the issue, which hasn't worked out for them so well in the past.
I am really liking this season.
That being said, I am enjoying season eight, even though I thought it was just a matter of time, before Amy was going to be bought up in comparison to Benny.
Dean needs to tell Sam, how Benny helped keep him alive during his year in Purgatory, and then Sam may appreciate Benny a little more, just like he was a fan of Cas at the beginning of season 4.
Can I bring up 'Asylum'? Sam said some hateful things then, and Dean passed it off. I hate to say it, but Sam has done a lot of nasty things to Dean, that Dean has let slide by. Ruby, demon blood, being soulless (not really his fault, but he did keep away from Dean for a whole year), choking Dean in 'When the Levee Breaks', etc. So, if the worse thing that Dean did was kill a monster (Amy) and depend on another one (Benny) to stay alive until he could get back to Sam, then Dean, I believe, has nothing to be ashamed about.
As for Amelia, I don't trust her. She just happens to be in the same town as Sam? In the same motel? Right. Sam, aside from Jessica, doesn't have a good track record with girls that he happens to pick up. One minute she is leery of him and after a few drinks, she is hopping into bed with him?
As for the return of Cas, I have gotten tired of the character and think that it is time for the writers to decide what to do with him, either let him die or let him go up to Heaven and be gone. SPOILER ALERT: We also get the return of Kevin and his Mom. But without the tablet, what good is finding Kevin?
I just want to know the REAL reason that Sam 'retired' and didn't look for Dean. And we still have a lot of season eight to go. I am pretty sure that we will have a lot more drama until we finally learn the whole truth, but I say 'bring it'.
I think that maybe Garth has been fleshed out some here because he's on his way to becoming a more recurring character. Some may groan at this, but we need good recurring characters on this show and since SG killed off all of the other ones, we now need new ones and they must be fleshed out to make them believable and useful within the drama. For me, Garth is the unhunter; untroubled, unviolent, unneedy, uncomplicated and for me that is a refreshing and welcome change from the bucket loads of angst Sam and Dean carry around.
Also, another unpopular opinion. For the intents and purposes of this episode, I can totally see Benny being the better brother, and Dean believing it. This episode was about one person hurting another, and being held accountable (allbeit in a totally outsized, ghost-induced manner). As far as we know, Benny has never lied to or betrayed Dean. There is no hurt for the ghost to latch onto. Just as Garth was safe from Dean, because he never really hurt, lied to, or betrayed Dean, Benny is safe. And that makes him the better family member.
I can only hope that all this contrived and idiotic angst is going to have a payoff, that mature relationship Carver touts. But that relationship cannot be built on tearing Dean down in future, just to make Sam look good, which is how the show usually misdirects (instead of actually fixing the problems). I think Dean is at the point of letting Sam go instead of holding on. Sam needs to admit that he's made bad choices, and start making good ones.
And please, no more "suck it up, princess" speeches aimed at Dean. That's another trope that needs to be salted and burned.
To add further, being called out when in 2nd grade and being upset about a date 37 years ago goes to the points I made in response to @ percysowner above, right along with Garth killing the tooth fairy. That kind of stuff is ridicuous and silly.
Garth surprised me this time around, I'd never much cared for the character before but he was written in a way that appealed to me in this episode, so I may have changed my opinion on him. Don't want to see too much of him, but I won't groan next time his name pops up in a synopsis!
The brothers still have a hell of a long way to go, but then we still have the bulk of the season ahead of us . I feel like this is a step in the right direction to finally get rid of some of this crap they've been carrying around.
But they really do need to fill in the gaps to their stories about their years for each other, neither has said basically anything and yet somehow they both feel like they've explained themselves.
Oh and the Amelia flashbacks, I totally forget to mention them in my review! I didn't mind them. I have a better understanding of what brought Sam and Amelia together now, but they were placed weird, sort of shoehorned it and didn't feel directly relevant to that episode. Certainly Ben and Guy have done the best work with the integration of the flashbacks.