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TV Review: Supernatural – “Torn and Frayed”

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Supernatural returned from hiatus last night, with a taut and emotional episode moving both the myth arc and the personal stories forward. The story, written by Jenny Klein and directed by Robert Singer, has many gritty scenes that grab the audience by the throat. In so many ways, “Torn and Frayed” is not an easy ride, which is not in itself a bad thing. Supernatural has never been afraid to break its audience’s heart, usually to great dramatic effect. But this time, I find my relationship to the show is getting torn and frayed, something I’ve been afraid of since the premiere set up Sam’s story this season.

I’ll set Sam’s story aside for a moment and look at Castiel’s first, as his development this season has been both interesting and moving. Castiel is a wonderful character who nevertheless poses huge issues for the writers. He’s too powerful to simply act as a third Winchester, but his relationship with Dean, who taught him the power of self-definition and love, is too interesting to lose. The writers have not known what to do with the angel since the Apocalypse story ended and too often, Castiel has functioned as comic relief. In season 8, he’s regained his status as a character with goals and needs and hurts, all of which I care about.

Castiel and SamandrielCastiel is mired in the kind of guilt Dean felt for so long, needing to atone for the hubris which led him to be an agent of destruction in heaven and earth. Castiel’s full recognition and ownership of his mistakes has helped to make Dean’s forgiveness of his friend believable and welcome, despite the magnitude of Castiel’s betrayal of Dean and injury to Sam. I believe in his need to save Samandriel, heaven’s most adorable angel, because of the guilt of so many angel deaths on his conscience.

And that makes the way Cas is being used by Naomi all the more wrenching to watch. I don’t yet know what’s up with Naomi’s secret little room in heaven, but I don’t trust her motives one bit, particularly since she used the same torturous mind control techniques on Castiel as Crowley uses on Samandriel. The result of Castiel’s interactions with her is Castiel killing the angel he’s trying to save (to my horror), so I doubt Cas is going to feel any atonement once he’s free of Naomi’s control. It’s very sad watching Cas try so hard to find a way forward and having Naomi undercut all his relationships by forcing him into lies and betrayal.

Lies and betrayal are a theme in this episode. Sam and Dean are forced to face each other, each feeling the other has betrayed their relationship. Sam asks Dean if their relationship has come down to Dean being willing to subject him to the kind of fear of loss they both have had to endure all their lives, just so he can save a vampire. Dean’s reply is to acknowledge his tactics were harsh and he does feel now he was wrong to use them, but he was not wrong to protect Benny from Sam, as Benny was innocent of the murders. Sam sees the issue differently. He tells Dean, “You wanted me to trust Benny and I can’t do that.” He goes further, giving Dean the price of him resuming their relationship: “That depends on you, on whether you’re done with [Benny].”

Klein takes this ultimatum and creates a similar situation for Sam, attempting to parallel the choices the brothers must make to save their relationship. Amelia tracks Sam down to his motel room and gets Sam to admit he still loves her, as she does him. They fall into bed, but the reunion has the shadow of Don hanging over the lovers.

Liane Balaban and Jared PadaleckiAmelia is back with Don, and she’s taken care to hide what she’s up to with Sam from her husband, leaving Sam at the bar so she could return to Don and send him off on his trip none the wiser on her plans to get back with her former boyfriend. She tells Sam, “I was OK, settled in, content,” but she obviously was not content, as she also tells the younger Winchester she thought of him first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Clearly, Don would be hurt to know the woman he made sure to give space rather than emotional blackmail when she had to make a choice only chose him because she thought she couldn’t have Sam. I found the portrayal of Amelia’s relationship with Don to be manipulative and disrespectful, as if his needs are of no concern to her. Don asked Amelia to take her time with her decision, so the decision would lead to a healthy relationship. Instead, he gets to be Amelia’s fall back option when what she wants doesn’t work out. I’d have more sympathy for Amelia if she’d decided she needed to be alone after Sam left, because she couldn’t offer Don what he wanted from her.

I have been dissatisfied with the development of Sam and Amelia’s relationship from the start, and this episode drives home everything that feels off to me. Far from being a beautiful and emotionally sustaining connection, the two characters feel like they have used each other to put off facing painful truths in their lives.” Hunteri Heroici” strongly suggested Sam’s time with Amelia was essentially living a lie, as he avoided facing what losing Dean meant to him. Amelia in turn was using Sam to avoid processing Don’s death and her own lack of a web of relationships to draw on.

In fact, the flashbacks this season showed us an Amelia who has huge communication issues, in part passed down from her dad, few meaningful relationships and a drinking problem. Her way of dealing with painful situations is to attack and manipulate, another tactic we saw she shared with her father. I was unsurprised that in “Hunteri Heroici,” every mention of living a lie threw Sam into a flashback about his life with Amelia.

I am surprised, however, to find that thread being dropped now in favour of Amelia being the love of Sam’s life and his route to happiness. What was the point of having four flashbacks in “Hunteri Heroici” stop the momentum of an otherwise good episode if Sam never has any epiphanies due to them? How did they move the story forward other than introducing an unfortunate soap opera flavour?

That soapy flavour gets full expression in “Torn and Frayed” as both Sam and Amelia eschew any honest communication on the issues between them in favour of setting up a dramatic choice in two days where they individually decide if they can commit. For me to have any investment in Sam and Amelia, I’d have to see them tackle the real issues: alcoholism as a coping mechanism, honesty on their relationship issues and baggage, Sam’s dangerous background that Amelia deserves to know . . .

We get a hint of some of these problems when Amelia tells Sam how much she hates motel rooms and she also tells him he can’t have one foot in their relationship and one foot in his other life. She has no idea what she’s really saying, but we do and Sam should. He gets to hear it again from Dean, who tells Sam he should make his own decision on Amelia—Dean will be alright going it alone, if necessary. He’s moved a long way from the guy who wouldn’t engage with Sam’s desire to leave. But he does tell Sam, “Whatever you decide, decide. It’s what’s in between that gets you dead.”

At this point, it would be great to see Sam really think over what Amelia offers and what Dean offers. There’s a lot to his relationship with Amelia that didn’t work and there’s a lot to his relationship with Dean that does. At this point in the show, Sam and Dean’s blood relationship is not enough to tie them together. They are different people, with different needs and personalities.

Jared Padalecki and Jensen AcklesBut there’s nothing to say that a brother cannot also be a best friend, a foundational piece of the web of relationships we all need to get through our tough times. And best friends can be individuals. The tie is in what each offers to the other, not in mirroring each other. Does Dean offer anything to Sam? Does that relationship help Sam navigate life’s treacherous waters? Does Dean help Sam stay balanced? Does he do so in a way that Amelia doesn’t? Or does Amelia offer Sam something Dean never can in terms of who he truly is? To my eyes, I’ve seen plenty of evidence of the former and very little of the latter.

I think part of what annoys me about the Sam and Amelia story is the embedded assumption that the Sam we met in the pilot is the essential Sam—an ordinary guy drawn unwillingly into heroic events. Yet even in season one, we soon learned Sam had many more layers and that he was anything but ordinary. He didn’t fit into Stanford any more than he fit into his family and as layer by layer was revealed, we learned Sam’s biggest fear was himself, not monsters. His own identity is the core of his journey, because it is so complicated. He has travelled a long way from that initial presentation of Sam, as Dean has travelled a long way from the daddy pleasing love ‘em and leave ‘em flirt we first met. The journey has been worth every step and I’m not willing to put it aside. The Sam currently on screen seems more like a throwback than a maturing character and nowhere is that more evident than in his stance on Benny.

Dean ends “Torn and Frayed” torn and frayed because he paid Sam’s price to rejoin him. While Dean told Sam to make the choice best for him, Sam never budges in his belief that Dean cannot have Benny as a friend because Benny is a vampire. This version of Sam feels monsters are evil by definition and have no personhood. Whether Benny killed the victims in “Citizen Fang” is irrelevant to him—Benny cannot be trusted because he is a vampire and Dean should have killed him the moment he was out of Purgatory.

Yet in season two, Sam argued the opposite. In “Bloodlust,” Sam and Dean have the following scene:

DEAN
What part of ‘vampires’ don’t you understand, Sam? If it’s supernatural, we kill it, end of story. That’s our job.

SAM
No, Dean, that is not our job. Our job is hunting evil. And if these things aren’t killing people, they’re not evil!

I understand Dean’s evolution on this question—even in “Bloodlust,” he decided Sam’s view had merit. But I have no idea why Sam has so changed his tune. He trusted Lenore; he trusted Amy even when he found her in the middle of a killing spree; he trusted Kate even though he didn’t know her at all. But he can’t trust Benny even though Benny made his decision not to kill pre-Purgatory and he has been a good friend to Dean, saving his life many times over. In fact, Benny’s friendship with Dean is a source of Sam’s resentment, not a point in his favour, which makes Sam’s ultimatum to Dean about Benny much less sympathetic than Dean telling Sam he can’t have a foot in both the hunter and civilian worlds.

Dean’s words to Sam are true—even Amelia has a sense she can’t be a part of Sam’s other world and he has to choose. But I see no reason why Dean cannot have Benny as a friend because he is a vampire, if Benny is choosing to reclaim his humanity. Benny is a part of the hunter world and he can take care of himself. He functions in the Winchester world in a way Amelia (and Lisa and Jess) cannot. He is part of Dean’s web of relationships, so sorely needed to handle the pain of his life. And there’s no reason Dean cannot have friendships. Sam may be looking at Benny as the source of his issues with Dean, but Sam and Dean are responsible for their own baggage.

Jensen AcklesI can’t imagine any good will come of Dean betraying his friendship with Benny to satisfy Sam. Loyalty is a core value for Dean and he knows Benny is in tough shape because he’s just lost the last tie to his family and his past. If Dean had been there for the vampire and that wasn’t enough to ground Benny, then that would be on Benny. It would be painful for Dean, but in every scene with his friend, he’s made it clear he would go after Benny if he gave in to blood lust. But if Benny falls now, Dean will always wonder what would have happened if he’d had that coffee when Benny reached out for his help. Being there in the tough times is part of what friendship is about.

The last scene between the brothers where both have elected to give up their other relationship to commit to hunt together is really sad rather than uplifting. I don’t know why Sam made Dean pay the price he did, given his past characterization; jealousy seems a very unsatisfactory answer. I don’t know why Sam regards Amelia as his first stone, his chance at happiness, when previous episodes suggested the relationship was more illusion and escape than anything else.

I don’t know why I should be hoping Sam recommits to hunting with Dean, as I don’t feel the connection I used to between them. If Sam really wants that life with Amelia and feels only a sense of duty in rejoining Dean, then I don’t need him with Dean. I’d sooner Sam leave to go find out what life with Amelia would really be like, warts and all, while Dean defines his own brothers. That seems a much better outcome than Sam seeing little value in his life with Dean other than duty and Dean realizing Sam will never define family the way he does, and yet the two of them ending up in that car, driving down the highway. That would truly be sad and not especially compelling to watch.

I’m watching the season to the end no matter what—I’ll give the writers the space to completely write out the story they envisioned this year. But I can see for the first time that I may not watch this series to the end. Sam and Dean are the core of the show for me, and if they don’t work, nothing else matters.

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About Gerry Weaver

  • Hades

    Given that Sam was already back with Dean having commited to being all in with him WITHOUT knowing Dean had ditched Benny clearly means that ditching Benny was not a condition for Sam to return to the hunt with Dean.

    Did you even consider that Dean ditched Benny because of Kevin’s words that nothing was more important than the tablets at that monement, tthat for Dean nothing was more importnat in that momnet than the hunt/the tablets/Kevin/Cas. Or that Dean asked Sam to be all in so Dean in fact needed to live by his own rules and be all in without Benny as a distraction?

    As for Sam’s ahte on for Benny? easy Ruby and Amy. Sam blindly trusted a monster and got burned badly (Ruby) he then asks Dean to trust HIM (sam) and let Amy go but Dean kills her anyway because he doesnt trust Sam. Dean then asks Sam to trust BENNY not Dean himslef and fails to give Sam any reason why he should. If thats not hypocracy on Dean’s part then I dont know what is?!

    I just hope that at the end of the hunt, when the hell gates are closed Sam goes to find what makes him happy and actually has someone in his life other than Dean. Dean I’m sure will have a car full of new brothers by then.

    These situations are all the same other than Benny being Dean’s friend and Ruby/Amy being associated with Sam which is where the fandom is divided. Had Sam befriended Benny the Vampire and Dean said it was wrong the fans clearly would have jumped to Dean’s defence and condemned Benny. So much hypocracy from Dean and bias

  • Hades

    and bias from the fandom.

    In the end they both chose the hunt which all we can expect at this stage. I do hope Carver gives Sam someone else to interact with now that Amelia is gone otherwise he has no storyline and will no doubt be left standing in the background every episode while Dean interacts with all the guests stars. Sam needs a friend the sooner he gets one the better and Carver better make it a him or the fans wont like them.

  • aurens66

    I know the writers have had the idea of making the brother’s relationship ‘more mature’ and perhaps they felt they had to break it down to basics, to get them to communicate and get over any lingering issues, it’s a risk, and I think they have taken some feedback from fans and perhaps truncated the Sam and Amelia storyline. But I also wonder if the scenarios (where Dean finds Benny in Purgatory – and rememeber Benny was ‘told’ where to find him and he could get a ride out) and Sam hitting a dog and finding Amelia were manipulations on behalf of whatever powers to drive a wedge between the brothers. But I hope this gets both bros on the same page and forming a new bond, cos that’s where we want them to be. And I concur with your assessment of Castiel’s character, I’d love for Misha Collins to be back on as a regular, as you said, all the boys need all the friends they can get

  • Gerry

    Hi Hades, thanks for giving your perspective on the episode. We do see it differently, which is fine–that’s what discussion is for.

    I look at Sam’s clear ultimatum to Dean on getting rid of his relationship with Benny as being left standing, because he never took it back or clarified or brought it up again.

    Dean clarified his stance with Sam on Amelia by telling Sam to make his own choice without any guilt on what it would mean for Dean. Dean was prepared to go on solo in a way he had previously told Sam he was not. All he asked Sam was to make a decision, because it was dangerous for him to have a foot in both worlds.

    We never saw Sam make a similar type of declaration to Dean about Benny, telling him it was his choice to be a friend or not.

    Dean told Sam he was having the conversation with him about Amelia because he was tired of fighting with him. The other reason he and Sam were fighting was Benny, so he made a decision to go with Sam’s ultimatum, so if Sam stayed, they could stop fighting about that, too. But I don’t see that sitting well with Dean, as loyalty is so important to him.

    I don’t see Sam’s need to decide about Amelia as a good parallel to Dean’s need to decide about Benny, because Benny can function in the Winchester’s world the way Amelia can’t. Sam can’t have both Amelia and hunting, just as he couldn’t have Jess and hunting and Dean couldn’t have Lisa and hunting. Civilians make the boys vulnerable because they can’t defend themselves. Civilians are sitting ducks.

    Benny is not a sitting duck. He can function as a friend just as Ellen did, and as Garth can. He knows the score and he’s prepared for the risks. Sam is judging Benny’s worth as a friend because he is a vampire.

    I think Dean has given Sam the reason to trust Benny–Benny saved him over and over in Purgatory and is the only reason Dean is topside. Sam knows Benny is a “vegetarian” vampire and he decides that is ridiculous and vampires need to be killed because they are vampires. It’s a huge change from his stance on monsters,including the stance he has on Kate when he is delighted to let her go on her word she won’t kill anyone. We didn’t see Sam make an about face after Ruby and we didn’t see him make one after Amy, either. Benny is the first monster Sam is determined to kill on general principles. Given what we saw in Bitten, Sam is the one who seems hypocritical on monsters.

    Dean’s stance has been the same since he accepted Sam’s point in “Blood Lust.” He kills monsters who prey on people. Amy was in the middle of a killing spree when Sam found her. Yes, she wanted to follow the plan she had made to stop killing, but dead brains were not a good solution in the long run because they weren’t nutritious enough. Her son needed fresh kill this time and there was no reason to think he wouldn’t again–or that Amy wouldn’t. Dean should have told Sam his decision rather than go behind his back, but he would have made the same decision, because he felt Amy had shown that when push came to shove, she was a kitsune and people were prey.

    However, he made the opposite decision with her son because he had not yet killed. If her son never kills, Dean will never try and track him down, just as he will never track Kate down if she never kills. He only hunts monsters who prey on humans. So I don’t see any hypocrisy on Dean’s part about Benny. He’s told Benny many times if Benny gives in to preying on humans, he will stop him. That he doesn’t think Benny’s vampirism strips him of personhood has been part of his evolution–something his father could not do–and Sam was the one who pushed him along that path.

    One thing I would ask you to avoid is bringing fandom wars into the discussion. Using broad brushstrokes to say any one who feels a certain way must hate Sam or the only reason to dislike Amelia’s portrayal is jealousy because she’s female is not productive.

    I have adored Sam’s storylines since season one–this is the first time I’m having trouble understanding him. I loved Jess and Jo and Madison and Lisa and was sad to see them go.

    It will keep the discussion enjoyable for all if we discuss show points rather than make assumptions about fans.

  • Gerry

    I just lost a long comment, so I guess the program wants me to be less wordy! Thanks Hades and Aurenns66 for your comments. Discussion is always welcome!

    Hades, I didn’t see anything in the episode to show Sam rethought his stance on Benny. Dean clarified his thoughts on Sam’s decision to Sam. There was no reciprocal discussion on Benny, so in my view, the ultimatum stands as a fighting point between the boys. As Dean said he was tired of fighting, he gave in on Benny. I don’t see that sittign well with him in the long run as he values loyalty.

  • Gerry

    I also don’t see the boys committing to the hunt as meaning they have to give up all friends. They have few enough as it is, and I expect they will still keep Garth as a connection and Sheriff Jodie if she calls.

    Benny has been very self-sufficient since he’s been back–Sam was the one who got them involved in Louisianna. That he’s calling Dean now is understandable as he’s just lost his family connection and killed again, albeit to save his granddaughter. He asked Dean to come for a coffee, not to give up his hunt. He was calling on a friend.

  • Gerry

    Aurens66, I agree that Castiel is a needed friend, especially as the boys have lost so many. I enjoy the character. I do think the writers have to very careful not to turn him into Mr. Deus ex machina, but so far, they’ve found a good path this season.

  • Gerry

    Aurens wrote: “But I also wonder if the scenarios (where Dean finds Benny in Purgatory – and rememeber Benny was ‘told’ where to find him and he could get a ride out) and Sam hitting a dog and finding Amelia were manipulations on behalf of whatever powers to drive a wedge between the brothers. But I hope this gets both bros on the same page and forming a new bond, cos that’s where we want them to be.”

    My read is that we won’t be told the way Benny found out about the portal nor will will Sam’s hitting the dog be supernaturally influenced, because the writers intend the stories to be the way they appear.

    There have been so many theories on Amelia not being real etc. and none of them have panned out. The angels are up to no good, but I think the wedge between the boys was supposed to come from real relationships and their own past resentments.

    I think the many theories surrounding Amelia and Sam’s hate for Benny show the stories weren’t as convincing as the writers hoped, because so many fans are looking for more.

    My biggest issue with the way these particular story lines are playing out is they seem to me to have placed the boys further apart than they have ever been and I see nothing but more trouble coming in the future.

    The last scene played out to me like anti-SPN,not a reconciliation. Sam is resigned to giving up what he really wants in his life and makes him happy (never mind all the “living a lie” anvils in Hunteri Heroici), duty having drawn him back to a life he doesn’t want, and his relationship with Dean not seeming to be a particularly big carrot for him.

    Dean is sitting there processing that he just let a friend down to make it easier for his brother to join him because his brother hated the care he had for Benny. Sam has never shown any appreciation for Benny’s role in saving Dean and in fact has shown little joy in having Dean back. We’ve seen a lot more onscreen on Dean’s return being seen as a complication for Sam than Dean’s loss being devastating. Odd choice for this show and one with consequences.

    So we have Dean most likely, given past characterization, feeling guilty about failing Benny when he inevitably has to kill his friend. I don’t see how that doesn’t bleed onto his feelings about Sam, as Sam forced the issue of cutting Benny loose.

    And Sam sees Dean coming back from the dead as the catalyst for giving up the love of his life and chance for happiness, leaving him with a feeling of duty toward a job he doesn’t value.

    I’m giving the writers lots of room to find a way to make the brothers seem like brothers again, but they have an uphill battle which I’m not entirely sure they realise. They don’t seem to realize many viewers needed more explanation on Sam not looking for Dean, for example, or that the Hunteri Heroici flashbacks didn’t jive well with last night’s ep.

  • roxi

    Hades, I disagree with everything you said. T

  • roxi

    To me, the show has always given Sam ALL the importance and ALL the main storylines, while Ddan is stuck looking after him, reacting to him, and getting put down by him. Sam had a story this season. Cas has a story. But once again, like always, Dean will be the supporting character. The SPN writers don’t seem to think Dean deserves a real love story or a decent and important story arc. And Dean here was willing to let Sam go and be with Amelia, a woman who just thought so little of the time she had spent with her husband that she easily cheated on him, but Sam refused to budge on Benny who was the very reason Dean survived.

  • roxi

    The Purgatory story was supposed to be a big story arc for Dean, but it wasn’t even about him. It was about Cas and Benny. We were never shown what Dean went through there or how it changed him. Meanwhile, Sam’s story was shoved front and center, as always.

  • Gerry

    Well, for me, I thought the Purgatory story arc was gorgeous for all involved, Dean, Benny and Cas. Dean was able to let go of the guilt he’s been carrying around to the point of depression because of how “pure” Purgatory is in the sense that you have to live in the moment.

    He was able to shed the last bit blinding him to what really happened with Cas with Cas’s help, bringing them closer together and healing both.

    He also avoided going down a Lord of the Flies route, though he certainly got tougher, because his caring instincts got as much play as his fighting instincts, when he had to save Cas and learn to trust Benny. Purgatory burned away a lot of what was hurting Dean and helped him remember what he has to give. I loved that he actually healed in Purgatory, as much as it was a dreadful place. I loved that far from turning into a figurative monster, he came out with a new friend whom he helped find his humanity.

    It’s sad to me that Dean finds earth harder to manage in terms of relationships than Purgatory. I think it is heartbreaking that he felt he had to cut Benny loose when his friend needed help and I have no doubt Dean will have more story with Benny, leading to a tragic and guiltridden end.

    I’m much less sure where Sam’s story is leading, to be honest. I’m sure he’ll have one, but nothing I’ve expected for Sam has come about this season.

  • Gerry

    To me, Purgatory served Dean, Cas and Benny very well. I loved those flashbacks. The way Dean had to live in the moment allowed him to let go of much of the guilt and shame he had been burdened with and Cas’s revelation about why he stayed behind helped Dean recognize how crippled by guilt he had been, allowing him to move forward even more and to reconnect on a deeper level with Cas. We also saw that even in Purgatory condition, Dean would not revert to a Lord of the Flies mentality and in fact he makes a new friendship, evolving even more on his stance on monsters.

    What I am worried about going forward is that I’ll be asked to accept Dean turning away a friend’s request for help will not weigh on him or that he won’t see Sam’s attitude to Benny as connected. I already have trouble recognizing Sam. I don’t want to not know who Dean is anymore.

  • Laurie

    Wow Gerry, you hit a bullseye with this review. You clarified exactly why I hated this episode. I also am a fan of the brothers, but their relationship sucks right now and I can’t see the end of this torture – I doubt it can ever be repaired with this reunion as the foundation.

    What scares me is that Carver and his gang seem to have no clue that they shot the show in the head, and don’t see that the cornerstone of the show is almost dead.

  • Gerry

    Laurie, that is also my fear: that Carver thinks he’s set up Sam’s story well and that this last episode is a reconciliatory episode, with the boys ready to resume the relationship that sells this show. I feel such a disconnect with what’s been shown on screen and what I should apparently be feeling if the last episode was not supposed to be dour and depressing.

    Surely the writers think both brothers made mistakes in Citizen Fang, not just Dean. Surely they know Sam is implicated in Martin’s death. Surely they know his about face on what defines a monster causes story dissonance unless we are supposed to think it is driven by his jealous of Dean’s closeness to Benny. Surely they know that Dean has the same right to choose his relationships as Sam does, and Sam not recognizing that as he tries to drive Benny away or kill him places him in a unsympathetic light. Surely they know the audience has responded well to Benny and it would be a very bad idea to implicate Sam so deeply in Benny’s death, if that’s what’s coming.

    Because surely they know we need to feel Sam and Dean are in their partnership because it feels right to both and they recognize they each offer something to the other. We need to enjoy seeing the two together.

  • Gerry

    Sorry for all the double posts. I had several comments get marked as spam and disappear, and then get unmarked later and reappear. So there’s a lot of duplication in my posts–apologies. Hopefully this doesn’t happen again.

  • Shannon

    Gerry – thank you for this review. This is one of the fairest and unbiased reviews I’ve read. So many other reviews seem to be glossing over Sam’s actions and the fact that there was no reciprocity in this episode.

    “Surely the writers think both brothers made mistakes in Citizen Fang, not just Dean. Surely they know Sam is implicated in Martin’s death. Surely they know his about face on what defines a monster causes story dissonance unless we are supposed to think it is driven by his jealous of Dean’s closeness to Benny. Surely they know that Dean has the same right to choose his relationships as Sam does, and Sam not recognizing that as he tries to drive Benny away or kill him places him in a unsympathetic light. Surely they know the audience has responded well to Benny and it would be a very bad idea to implicate Sam so deeply in Benny’s death, if that’s what’s coming.”

    The writers have to recognize all of these issues, right? If they don’t, then I do not see the brothers relationship being better than it is now. Having Dean always be the one to make admissions does not make the relationship better, it just puts a mask on all of the issues.

  • terhunian

    I hope they don’t go the Old Yeller route with Benny, with Dean being forced to kill his buddy because he’s gone “rabid” after shedding blood saving SAMs life because that would be too corny for words. Equally sucky would be Benny ASKING Dean to put him out of his misery or having Benny turn out to be Boy Ruby after all (although that one post suggesting that Benny has been using Dean to take out his competition and consolidate his power actually sounded pretty fun, especially if Dark Dean is seriously tempted to run away and be a Vampirate).
    Good, evil or somewhere in-between,I’d like Benny to stick around. If the writers absolutely HAVE to kill him off, though, I’d like it to be to send him on a mission back to Purgatory…